Your Ashes

Oct 10, 2019

Bri, you made everything fun. Do you remember that when you were dying, you asked me how we could make that fun too? How perfectly poignant that today as we scattered the dust of your body in the trees, your daughter said: “I like this, Mama. This is fun.”

She insisted on carrying the red velvet bag with your body inside it. She wore your ring around her neck and I wore your writing around mine. We settled on switching your favourite hat back and forth between us.

We hiked into the trees and she held your body with such determination and tenderness. She fell so many times, Bri, she totally wiped out! And each time she brushed herself off and got up as if nothing had happened. She never let go of that bag.

I brought her back to our favourite spot in the forest, the one where you wanted us to get married. It looks exactly the same. Time stopped and it was just us in the world. That place is as magical as ever. You always did have a knack for finding the magic spaces.

I sat at the centre of the trees and watched our daughter sprinkle your body around every tree, rock, and log that she could find. She moved with such love as she carefully, thoroughly let your ashes flow out of her small hands.

“Mama, I’m sprinkling Dada’s body around all the trees because I know how much he loves trees. Dada taught me how to hug trees. I want him to be able to hug all the trees again because I love him.”

We “cheers’d” you on the dock. A craft cider for me and a coconut water for her, the expensive type with the tall can. “To Dada!” we said.

She slowly poured more of your body into the pond and we watched it turn to “smoke” billowing out in the water until it disappeared.

Now your body is all over our hands and our arms. It’s embedded in my sandals and in her hair. It’s underneath our nails. As we sat there, she lovingly washed my face with lake water, mixed with the dust of your bones and the salt of my tears.

And tonight, before bed, she didn’t want to wash her hands. And so, she slept with your dust in between her fingers.

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