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.|