Sunday, 28 April 2013

Bringing home the Ashes (part 2)

Since there was no means of delivering my dear mother's ashes to the crematorium, and  most of my siblings seemed unaware of the importance of this transition, I bravely contacted the crematorium again.  Interestingly there seemed to be a shift of power and control.  I was told it would be perfectly all right for me to do the scattering and just to say when I would like to go and complete the process.

There is no time like now!  I booked an appointment for the following day, when my daughter and I would be visiting Stratford-on-Avon to see the latest production of Hamlet.  It felt right and proper, since my mother was a professional dancer, and also the model for the famous Canadian sculpture of Mother Canada, mourning her dead children, at Vimy Ridge in northern France. 

The gardens of the crematorium were just beautiful and peaceful, the bulbs just coming our through the last vestiges of the snow.  We scattered mother's ashes in the same place as my father's, and will plant some aconite bulbs when the ground gets softer.

I have also arranged for one of the crematorium's owl boxes to be situated nearby as my fathers emblem was an owl.  The ritual is now complete.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bringing Home the Ashes (part one)

People's remains are a strange phenomenon!  What to keep, what to throw and what to take down the charity shop, (more of that later as we discuss my 75% de-clutter project!).

My mother died many years ago and I suggested to my siblings that perhaps her ashes should be scattered in the same place as my father's.  He died in Warwickshire and my mother in Devon.  No-one seemed to think it was an issue, that it did not matter.  So I took possession of them once the Funeral Directors were going to charge shelf-space for the container.  Mother was lodged with me apart from a spell of wandering when they stayed in my brother's freezer room.  Admittedly my sister-in-law almost mistook them for a new consignment of bird feed!  Mother came back to me.

I rang the crematorium about sprinkling the ashes in the same place as my father's, and they said it would be fine; they would need to be in a new container and there would be a fee.  Then they made it very clear that I would have to stand and watch one of their staff do the sprinkling, I was not allowed!  I closed the conversation and could not think of a plan.  Mother's ashes have stayed with me for a subsequent 10 years!

Having just begun to come to terms with my husband's death over a year ago, I decided that I would send the ashes to the crematorium and they could sprinkle them.  I could visit later.  And then?  The Post Office and the Delivery Services no longer will deliver ashes!

What to do now!  Watch this space....