Throughout the day families boarded the boat to attend services. This was the final farewell of their loved ones. I remained unobtrusive while serving the families, as they cared for their dead.
Services were a lifetime condensed into an hours time for each family. Final words, flowers, and sometime clergy.
Some families had written their own thoughts to share, some had brought readings pertaining to death. Often the same Bible reading of Psalm 23, and Mary Elizabeth Frye’s poem, Do not stand at my grave and weep were repeated over and over by several families.
I was handed pages to read when leaky eyes blurred their vision. I was always close by when an unexpected situation arose. The repetitive passages that I had to listen to or read out loud, made me want to cry too. Not because of sadness or being swept away in the moment. It was because of boredom, same repetitive readings over and over. They were killing me!
My favorites were the families being casual, nothing rehearsed. Those (remember when) moments were the best. They told stories, everyone contributed. Each shared personally, adding to the story.
As time passes, you realize the stories of your past are no longer interactive. You standalone with your precious moments.
Some situations were funny. The people that prepared for seasickness, arrived over medicated on Dramamine. They were sicker than sea sick! The prevention was worse than the illness.
Babies in the arms of the mother adapted beautifully; they fell asleep from the motion of the water. The rocking of the boat on water was a familiar sensation, like a womb with a view!
One particular situation stood out as unusual. The urn with the man’s name on it appeared normal. The sequence of events that occurred were abnormal. Lost and found was the name of the game I played. After transferring urns from the crematory to car, then to the boat, where they stayed until the day of their service.
The amount of transporting left room for errors. It was count and recount to make sure I wasn’t leaving any urns behind. This one urn kept disappearing on me. The urn was (always) where I placed it. Somehow, I kept overlooking it and thought it was lost in transit. It had never moved from where it was placed. The only thing I was losing was my mind! The urn just appeared to be lost…
The day of his service, family had arrived and shared stories about what a practical joker he was. No Kidding, maybe I should of shared my story with them.