I asked the question in the last post because, well, what happens when ashes are scattered? There’s no memory, no remembrance of the uniqueness of that life. I find that hard to wrap my mind around.
My cousin’s wife passed several years ago. She was transcendent, an angel, with violet eyes and the best sense of humour on the planet. She was warm, funny and altogether lovable, and she died of pancreatic cancer because a doctor misdiagnosed her. Snuffed out just when she and my cousin were going to start traveling in their retirement. So he took her ashes and made a pilgrimage to all the places they loved to go, scattering her ashes as he went.
But then he got home, and she wasn’t there. And there was nowhere to visit. So he bought a bench with her name on it, and had it installed in the cemetery where most of the family is buried. And once a week, he brings her flowers and sits and talks to her. And it gives us all that touchstone to remember her with when we bring our flowers. But I always cry. I cry because I miss her, because her life was too short, because it was unfair, because the house, even after 13 years, still looks like she could walk in the door at any minute, because my cousin lost his high-school sweetheart, his soulmate, because we all lost her. I miss her every day. But that bench…it helps keep her memory alive, somehow. And now, in the corner, is etched a tiny angel, for a stillborn granddaughter, and all her children want their names on that bench someday. Not a bad way to remember that great, big love.