Saturday we were finally able to put the first part of Mom’s ashes where she wanted, and it was nice, if a little awkward in execution.

Being Mom, she requested that her ashes be split between three places. Something I know now can be logistically challenging for those left to handle such things, and that I would not choose myself. She wanted one-third on Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara where she grew up and spent summer days with girlfriends. She wanted another third at a family-favorite campground in the hills outside Santa Barbara, and the last at a remote cabin in Northern California, eight hours from the former, where we spread Dad’s.

By tomorrow evening we’ll have fulfilled our part of her request, as we put her with Dad up in Downieville. I expect this will feel good; to have given her what she wanted after a long while being unable to do so given pandemic travel restrictions. I haven’t really felt sad. I think I’ve maybe done all my sad about this? This is more about honoring Mom’s request; following those last instructions. Even from the grave mothers can be onerous. Sorry, dark humor.

John and I dug the hole on the beach with our bare hands; the hole we put (part of) Mom into before covering it back over. That was a bit odd, but also very raw feeling. Afterward I had sand under my nails, little dark half-moons. I scraped them clean with my other nails. We didn’t say much of anything, there wasn’t any formality or structure or remembrances, just a “deposit.”

After, we went for lunch and drinks at a place Mom liked up in the hills. Her brother joined us. There we did have remembrance, we did talk about Mom.

I hope it was what she would have wanted. I hope she’ll forgive us having to languish in the closet until now. I hope we did good.

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