Friday, 7 October 2016

Goodbye to a Good Man

Two weeks ago, as I mentioned briefly in this post, we finally held the burial/committal service for my dad. He passed away in June of 2015, and his ashes, in a small carved wooden box, had been sitting on a rarely used shelf in my bureau ever since.

Is that a strange place to keep the ashes of a loved one? I wanted them to be safe. I think I also wanted them to be not too visible, because it made the sadness bubble up too much, seeing such a stark reminder of him.

It took awhile to get a time and date set. We needed to consider the winter weather, the summer heat, the busy seasons at work for some of us, and the availability of family, friends, the minister, and so on. And so we arrived at late September.

The afternoon was sunny, but not hot; breezy, but not cool: a comfortable and beautiful fall day. The service was short and uncomplicated, and the minister perfectly captured my dad's decency and kindness, and his loving and optimistic nature. There were not many of us in attendance but every person there had been important to Dad, and he to every one of us.

The cemetery overlooks a river, with grass and trees and quiet all around. My father had decided on this spot prior to his stroke, and he couldn't have chosen a more suitable final resting place. He loved to fish, he loved the outdoors, he loved the small wild places in our beautiful province.

What more could I ask for?

Well, that is a loaded question, isn't it?

How about this, then: Given that my father is gone, and that I cannot unwind time, and would not wish him back to suffer, even though I miss him so ... what more could I ask for in a burial service and in a burial place and in a group of loving people sharing this ritual?

Nothing. It was perfect. And, though many tears fell, there were many smiles and hugs, too, and I feel a little more at peace now.


Taken on the drive to the cemetery. The view is essentially the same as it is from the cemetery itself - the river, the green, the peace and the surrounding rolling hills.




20 comments:

  1. Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring.

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    1. Thanks, EC. I appreciate your caring presence.

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  2. 56 years ago, month short of my 11th birthday, my father died of cerebral hemorrhage. At the funeral, he was the 1st dead person I ever saw. I understand the conflict between mortal remains and what they said or joked or got mad about the week, month or years before. Your father is where he is in your heart, your mind. I'm a father and don't think any further than that. You did good, Jenny. You did good.

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    1. Ah, Geo. ... that is too young, for your dad and for you. I'm sorry you experienced such a great loss at such an early age.

      Thanks for your kind words.

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  3. Short but uncomplicated and in a beautiful setting -- it sounds like the ideal service. It will be a nice memory for you and the others in attendance, I'm sure. I don't think it's unusual to hang onto the ashes of a loved one for a period of time -- as far as I know, my stepmother still has my dad's ashes and will probably have them for a while.

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    1. You're right, it is a beautiful memory to have, which is comforting in its own right.

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  4. Goodbye to a good man. We can say a lot of those in a lifetime.

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    1. Isn't that the truth, Joanne. It's comforting to remember how many good people there have been, and still are.

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  5. May he RIP. I believe that he's smiling on you and your loved ones and his energy lives on in all of you. It sounds like a beautiful good bye.

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    1. Thanks, Chicken - it was such a beautiful day and place, with good company. I'm glad I have that memory.

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  6. May you dad rest in peace. We just interred my mom's ashes earlier this year and I finally felt as if she was at rest. Or at least I had done my part for her. It is good to have such warm memories of your good father.

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    1. There is a feeling of having completed an important step, yes - you named that well. Thank you, Angella.

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  7. Sounds like a moving service, and probably just what your dad would have wanted. I really admire you for your dedication, but I already told you that.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. I think you're right; he would have felt it suited him. Thank you, Doug.

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  8. Glad you are more at peace and it turned out to be a wonderful day and service for your dad. Take care and sending my condolences your way.

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    1. It's surprising how much it helped me, Mr. S. Thank you for your kind words.

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  9. Decency and kindness, loving and optimistic. That's a pretty great legacy. Peace to you all.

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    1. Thank you. Yep, I'd be happy if anyone remembers me that way when I'm gone :)

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