Monday, June 10, 2013

Finding a resting place for Beth

Beth had wanted her ashes to be buried under some blackberry bushes at one of her favourite parks on the island. Two weekends ago, along with Cheryl and two other of my friends, we went in search of the perfect spot.

I knew I had found it when I came across a small meadow with a big clump of bushes in the centre, surrounded by daisies in full bloom. The edge of the meadow was covered with huge wild rose bushes, about 8 feet tall.

In amongst the bushes were blackberry plants.

I was able to dig a hole at the base. Here I am holding Beth’s ashes.

As I was holding the box I remembered how many times I had wished she were the size of a toddler so that I could pick her up off the floor when she fell or could carry her from one room to another. I often felt helpless because I couldn’t do those things and when I tried getting her into a better position I ended up hurting her muscles. She was so fragile the last few months.

I was a bit reluctant to open the box because I didn’t know what to expect. As there weren’t ashes falling out of the box I figured they were in a bag so I needed to get them out of the bag so they could decompose in the ground. For those who might have a morbid curiosity, you can read the rest of this paragraph. For those who don’t… skip ahead to the next one. Ashes are heavy. I would say the box was at least ten pounds in weight. There were soft ashes but also harder tiny pieces that reminded me of oyster shells that we used to feed the chickens on the farm so that their egg shells would be firm. Calcium.

We hadn’t planned to say any special words. I thought about poems or excerpts from books that Beth liked. But Beth liked and read so many things that I didn’t know where to start. All the heartfelt words were said while she was still alive. So instead we listened to the birds and the breeze and smelled the mossy soil and the salt water in the air. Some of the things Beth loved about the area.

The meadow was about 50 feet away from a bay. Here’s the view from her resting place. Daisies in the front, roses to the left and beyond the evergreens is the water.

We went for a walk and Cheryl and I reminisced about our trips with Beth – how she’d struggle over these tree roots or those rocks. And how at this point she actually had to get out of her chair because the two of us couldn’t maneuver the chair around the obstacles. Or how at this point Beth would be dangling off the edge of the cliff.

We saw a heron on the dock.  This past year Beth and I had seen a number of herons.  To me they'll be forever linked with her.

Back in the car, before we left the area I played a song Beth requested be played. It’s the Gift to Be Simple by the King’s Singers. I’ve found a youtube version – the song is the first 2 minutes - you can ignore the rest.

It is a lovely song that many will be familiar with – perhaps you sang it at church or around the campfire? I can see why the song appealed to Beth. She’s finally free of all the pain and all the difficulties she had to face.

Rest in peace, Beth. Be free and fly.