We set key to lock, and entered the underworld domaine of my father. A place of endless possibilities and combinations. Here, we would find the tools to begin my dad’s final trip.
My mom got to work covering the table and preparing our workspace for this rather ghoulish task. I waded through endless drifts of stuff, exploring his possessions.
You never know what you will find in this depository of things my dad had accrued. Like this stopped hour glass, that I found to be rather profound given our current task.
We could not think of a more apt place in which to divvy up his ashes and so we didn’t try. Rather; we accepted that after more than two years, it was well past the time to get this show on the road.
We were fortunate to have such a clear idea of how Dennis wanted his earthly remains to be handled. First and foremost, we were told to have fun. He always said not to be sad when he was gone. He had done his best with the time he had. There is immeasurable comfort knowing that he felt this way decades before his passing.
We knew that he had no qualms about being split up and passed around. Even in death he was willing to make new friends and visit new places. The first step down this road necessitated that we physically divide what was left of him. I had no problem preforming this task.
Death rituals around the world and through the ages, are as varied as a wild spring meadow. Some are rooted in long standing tradition and ceremony; others are unique and individual. I will let you guess which type this one will be.
We prepared our workspace.
It was amazing (but not surprising) that everything we needed; from scissors to candles, was within steps of us. I scoured the immediate shelves and found many little urns. Things he had kept because of their ‘usefulness.’ It was fitting that he had provided us with so many perfect receptacles for his remains.
We lit candles and said some prayers.
Then we got to work.
There were no tears.
The process was too interesting for that. We were constantly surprised by the challenges of the task but not at all shocked when we had a tool near at hand to deal with each hurdle. It is a rather morbid thing to do but one that we were prepared for and felt it was our duty to preform.
We laughed a lot, at VERY off color jokes we could not keep to ourselves. Knowing with absolute certainty that he was laughing along with us. My dad’s brand of humor was unique and I have no doubt he enjoyed being there with us in our moments of depravity.
At this point we had no idea how many people would want to participate in the scattering. Since then, we have been humbled by the overwhelming response from family, friends and even people my dad never met who want to participate in his last trip.
I know he would approve. I know this is what he wanted. I know he is proud that we are in a place to let him go on these new adventures without hesitation. It took a long time to get to this space. Death is a journey for the living as well as the deceased.
I am happy that his path will take him to the top of mountains and down to the depths of the sea. He will be scattered far and wide by people who know how to enjoy life. In the end; there are only ashes and dust to mark the fact that we once lived and the memories of our companions to prove that we lived well.
Here begins a new journey.
I am going to start a page on the blog devoted to this new story. I have asked others to participate and share their pictures and writings- as we all share one last day with Dennis Gobets. I will start with the places my mom and I put him this last week. It will likely take years to get all the proper combinations of people and places together and that is just fine.
Timing is everything. Its essence finite. Do the best you can with the time you have, share your joy as freely as your pain and remember that life is best when you are spreading as much love as you can. Seek the places that sing to your heart and you will always be in good company even when you are alone.
And any time you have the chance to make your dead father look like a stash of expensive illicit powder, using only the things he had on his work bench- take it. Life is too short to take yourself seriously. I know my dad didn’t and in that spirit we will all continue.
This is the beginning of The Last Days of Dennis and that is satisfactory.
Be well and buckle up things are about to get weird 🙂