Friday, June 21, 2013


Is there a Death? The light of day
At eventide shall fade away;
From out the sod's eternal gloom
The flowers, in their season, bloom;
Bud, bloom and fade, and soon the spot
Whereon they flourished knows them not;
Blighted by chill, autumnal frost;
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust!"
Is there a Death? Pale forms of men
To formless clay resolve again;
Sarcophagus of graven stone,
Nor solitary grave, unknown,
Mausoleum, or funeral urn,
No answer to our cries return;
Nor silent lips disclose their trust;
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust!"
Is there a Death? All forms of clay
Successively shall pass away;
But, as the joyous days of spring
Witness the glad awakening
Of nature's forces, may not men,
In some due season, rise again?
Then why this calm, inherent trust,
"If ashes to ashes, dust to dust?"

Since my mom's passing in February, my sister and I have been holding off on spreading mom's ashes. Mainly, because it was winter here in Minnesota and mom wanted her remains to be spread over a body of water and all was frozen over. She left the decision of the exact location up to my sister and I. She said to do whatever we thought was best and was easiest for us.

Several weeks ago, a week before my mom's 61st birthday, we decided to finally take care of this piece of unfinished business. We decided to spread the ashes along the Mississippi River. We found a serene beautiful spot along the river. We choose this location because it was close to where she worked and lived. She loved living in downtown St. Paul and enjoyed walking along the river bank when the weather was nice. It seemed fitting.

It all worked out perfectly. My sister was in town helping me clean out mom's place that weekend along with my aunt and uncle (parents of the cousins I lost of the same cancer)  It just felt right that we were all together and knew mom would approve of it being done at this time. It was so nice to have my aunt and uncle there because due to some unfortunate circumstances, they were unable to come to the funeral. So having them be a part of the finality of life ceremony, meant a lot. Mom would've been so happy. 

My uncle (mom's bother) lead the informal ceremony with some personal words and then sang a religious verse in Hindi. My sister and I held mom's ashes and slowly poured them into the water while my aunt assisted us, as she always has. When we were done pouring the ashes, we saw three ducks swim by. We all smiled. I like to think that it was a sign...Mom, Rajen, Sandra. After we finished, I felt release. I felt mom's spirit was there with us..telling us that she's ok and to move on. Telling us that she's with Sandra and Rajen now and she'll see us again someday.

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