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.


Olivia said...

It looks like a good resting place. Thanks for sharing this. I hope you are doing ok.

Olivia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wendryn said...

Thank you for posting this. Somehow blackberries, roses, and daisies are quite appropriate for her; sounds like you found the perfect place. Much love to you and Cheryl.

Anonymous said...

You chose a beautiful spot in a place Beth loved. I knew it was the place when we saw the butterflies (moths?) with the bright red wings. I thought, "Cool, goth butterflies for Beth."

I have many happy memories of our trips to that park. When we were there Beth often spoke of happy childhood memories.

Rest well Sis. Be at peace and fly free!


Lecy said...

This was beautiful.

Pat said...

Such a beautiful place for Beth. She will always be missed. Thanks for sharing your special thoughts and photos.

Anonymous said...

A lovely tribute--thanks for the update.


Kate J said...

That's a lovely place you picked. It's like what I did with my mum's ashes, just find a lovely natural spot which she liked when she was alive... no ceremony, no fuss, just remember her as she was in life, and then set her free. Thanks so much for sharing this special moment with the rest of us who knew Beth, however slightly.
I wish you happiness in the rest of your life.
Love & peace.

PB said...

I am so sorry for your loss, and also so grateful for what you have shared here.
Thank You.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful resting place. I still cant believe she has gone. Thinking of you, Michelle, Lowestoft, UK

JaneB said...

Thank you for sharing this, and I'm glad you found such a wonderful, happy spot for her. She will become part of the island as she was part of all our lives, and that's just perfect.