January 22, 2015

Ashes: to Save or not to Save?


When my dad died in 1983, my mother had his body cremated and did not ask to save his ashes. A close friend of the bakery’s and of my dad’s may have-we are not sure. We do know that this friend, Zeke, drove a bakery van around the crematorium three times honking the horn as a ceremonial gesture. He told my mother that he did this.

When my mother died in November, 2014, I was asked by the funeral home if I wanted to save the ashes. I did not. But I surveyed my family and learned that both Elsa and Jeremy did want to, and felt that it was important. Other friends felt the same way. So I elected to save them.

Elsa collected the box of ashes from the crematorium a few days after my mother was cremated. The box sat in various places in our house for many weeks. Elsa had the idea to spread Peachy’s ashes around the base of a Magnolia tree planted for my father on the grounds of their home, Chatham Green, in New York City.

We decided to spread the ashes on or around their wedding anniversary, January 16th. My parents were married in 1956.

Actually, we were not able to spread the ashes until a few days later, Monday, January 19th, the day we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this year.

I think it was a fantastic and meaningful gesture for my mom and dad. I so appreciate the fact that my amazing daughter had the ability to think creatively and that she had the foresight to propose to us that we do this.  I can honestly say that I would have NEVER thought of such a terrific plan.

This is what we did.

The other oldies: Gene, Evelyn and Bette also approved of this plan, I believe. And my mentor and surrogate mother, Erness, also liked the idea.


Good enough for me!

1 comment:

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