Where do you want to be?

Posted in Cancer at 9:33 am by George Smith

Where do you want to be when you’re done? Something you have to consider if you’re making an arrangement for the spreading of the remains of a friend. A cemetery isn’t the place. I never visit them.

Death came upon my friend Don Hunt so quickly many things were never discussed in any detail. Last resting places and dispersal were two of them.

Don was cremated and I’ve been caretaker of the ashes. I thought the matter over with another of his close friends and we decided to release small portions of them in those places he loved.

That meant Santa Barbara, on a beach in the Pacific and in Pasadena, in a yard where he spent so many sunny afternoons and warm evenings.

Southern California gave us two great days in which to do it.

I’ll visit these resting places often. They are still part of the streams of our lives, not out of the way, or places for only special visitation in memoriam. My friend and I will know some of Don’s elements are in the sand, trace building blocks in the life of a tidal pool, invisible mineral in the roots of a garden that was always a refuge. The base materials live on, reused and conserved, as it will be with whatever becomes of us. When everyone who remembers is gone, the infinitesimal bits will persist.

And it’s just better than being in a graveyard visited only upon occasion, perhaps glumly or out of a sense of duty, I think.

Business left unfinished.


  1. bonze blayk said,

    May 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    For me?

    Van Etten Cemetery.

    You know, my mother told me I ought to put this on the record somewhere, just to be sure my druthers were known…

    So, congratulations, Dick!

    … I finally got around to it!

    Bonze Anne Rose Blayk

  2. George Smith said,

    May 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Glad to be of service!

  3. Chuck said,

    May 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Since I’ll be past caring about what happens to my ashes when I shed this mortal coil, I’ve thought it would be neat to simply dump my bits from a tall building in a high wind, to be inhaled by the madding crowd below.

    I suspect that’s illegal in most venues, however.

  4. George Smith said,

    May 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Yes, probably is. But I would bet a lot of people still do it. There’s ways to do it without being caught since lots of people don’t really hang out on rooftops anyway.

  5. Frank said,

    May 24, 2012 at 5:56 am

    No question here: In the cemetery where my ancestors have lain since 1783, in the graveyard of the little Baptist church that was placed on land donated by one of them.

  6. George Smith said,

    May 24, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I would like to be in the same spot in Santa Barbara on a sunny day in May.