Kiss Your Ashes Goodbye! (Part 2)

“Yabba Dabba Doo!” I yelled like Fred Flintstone. Leaving the cremation cave behind me. Most people wouldn’t have a clue about where I’d been earlier that day. I made no bones about it,  the crematory was not a favorite place of mine.

Driving to the boat, I noticed life being lived. Kids playing, dogs being walked and gardeners pruning their yards. Unlike me with a backseat of dead people. It was a nice contrast.

The death care industry is a hidden part of society, until you need us. You had the party, we’re here to help you clean up. We didn’t end the party, death did that.”Death is a Killjoy” There, I said it…

My 55 urns in the back seat were headed out for their one-way boat trip. Knowing the routine, I’d been the travel agent that booked those one way trips.

Working on a boat had it’s own challenges. Water has an insatiable appetite, it will instantly accept anything you drop into it. Keys, jewelry, cameras, anything that doesn’t float. Floating items can be swept away quickly making retrieval impossible, before those items go under too.

From my car, was a steep ramp, a fifty foot stretch of dock over water. Carry the dead, over the water, on the dock, to the boat we go!

Carrying these urns on moving slippery docks was risky. My worst fears were dropping the urns into the water. As a precaution , I thought about wrapping the urns in life jackets. You’ve heard of the Dead mans float, right?

It’s my job to keep them out of the water, until the day of their scheduled sea scattering. Sounds like an oxymoron, life jackets for dead people…

All Aboard! I counted the urns after they’re on board. Hail! Hail! the Gangs All Here. It’s time to make calls to the families that would be present the day of the services.

About half of the urns would be scattered without family and/or friends present. This was a separate trip, this option was chosen for various reasons.

Many of these people did not have extended family, or had outlived their friends. There were some that had family and friends that could not attend because of distance.

And the dreaded thought of seasickness kept many away. If you’ve ever had severe seasickness, it could make you envy the dead…


The remaining ones would have their services attended by family and friends. Each family had a different type of service and I was always surprised by what what could and did happen.

You have leverage with cremation. Scattering parents together, when one has died years earlier, is a possibility. Families liked that option. They can plan and gather at their convenience.  Why not have it your way?

Reading and hearing different viewpoints about what the dead feel, think , or do. These opinions are stated by the living. Until I hear from a dead person, the events I’ve witnessed are questionable and valid.

I consider myself a seasoned living death expert. I did not play God. Like I have stated before truth does not always equal facticity. Follow my thoughts and you may agree with me.

The family has gathered for the memorial service for Grandmother June. The scattering has already taken place. They’re reminiscing about her love of birds. A seagull has landed on the wheelhouse of the boat. They spot it and were in agreement, it was a sign from her.

They’re convinced, Grandmother June sent this bird thanking them for her service. It’s true, the bird was on the boat, is it a fact their Grandmother June sent it? Divine Intervention? Maybe Grandmother June herself?

Those moments were  sacred to the family, likely passed onto others who were not in attendance. I never took comfort away from a family. I did not rain on their parade, and thankfully neither did the seagull…





Home Visits

Another part of my job was to visit people in their homes to help them make prearrangement plans for their anticipated deaths and disposition.

If you can imagine sitting down and discussing a one-way trip which they could never talk about or share details of their adventure, this was it.

Often, I referred to myself as a one-way trip travel agent…TO BE CONTINUED (this blog is still brand new and under construction).

Sincere Apologies

If you have found this blog site at a time of bereavement. Please accept my
sincere apologies and deepest regrets. I write my stories of these experiences often with humor. It helps lighten the intensity of death and dying and allows me to talk about the subject using humor as a preventative as a release of grief.