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Finally scattering Dad's ashes...

(19 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 21-Jul-07 22:18:21

15yrs after he died! I have a large and complicated family - I am product of his 2nd marriage. All the children (there are 6 of us and 14 Grandchildren) get on well and have never been resentful of each other - (let our parents get on with that nonsense iykwim).

Anyway one of my sisters has taken bull by horns and suggested a place in the N. York Dales for a scattering and get together in the Autumn. It is near where she and her dh go for hols but we don't mind that as she has 7 kids so organising anything for all of them is quite a feat - and the place she has in mind is significant for all of us.

Anyway to get to the point - I wanted some inspiration for the day - what do you do when you scatter ashes - read a poem? Play music? We are a bunch of Heathens so want no religious significance but I want to mark the occasion properly. Do we need permission to do this? Is there a way we can mark the spot without harming the landscape? Has anyone done anything like this?

Carnoodleusfudge Sat 21-Jul-07 22:20:51

Never done anything like this and I expect you need permission in triplicate to mark the spot.

What about you all tell each other your favourite/best memory of your Dad?

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 21-Jul-07 22:39:18

I am sure you are right carnoodle - esp on a national park!! Will probably forget about that!

I think memory swapping is a good idea - I also don't know whether to bring dh and kids as I want to but they never met him (and dc's are too young to get involved)... I feel a bit nervous about the whole thing - but I am not sure why?

Carnoodleusfudge Sat 21-Jul-07 22:40:35

I think it would be nice for all the family to be involved - give the DC a sense of who he was rather than just a dead grandfather IYSWIM (perhaps brief them before not to but in with questions and comments...)

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 21-Jul-07 22:50:23

Both dc's are under 3 so they will but in big time however I (and I know dad) wouldn't mind that - but they won't have any memory of this either - although I do intend to film at least some of what we do.

Carnoodleusfudge Sat 21-Jul-07 22:55:02

It's a family thing though -

<Just be careful if it is a windy day...>

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 21-Jul-07 23:00:50

I keep thinking about the film 'The Big Lebowski' - where they scatter the ashes of of a dead friend off a cliff top and immediately get them blown back in their faces - and atop a windy moor... well its bound too happen... oh well .

Carnoodleusfudge Sat 21-Jul-07 23:02:09

Go low rather than flinging high...

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 21-Jul-07 23:11:27

will do - and thank you for your thoughtful replies

paddingtonbear1 Sat 21-Jul-07 23:12:56

My dad and I are scattering my Mum's ashes in the Peak district next weekend. I hadn't really thought about how we were actually going to do it yet. Never done this before. Dad says he had strict instructions, Mum specified exactly which hill she wanted! we are not religious either and we weren't planning to mark the spot with anything. Not thought beyond that really! Will take Carnoodle's point about going low...

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 21-Jul-07 23:21:33

The Peak District - what a lovely place to choose - I hope it goes well for you Paddington.

It is good that your mum made her wishes clear, I am afraid my dad didn't - so we are making things up as we go along... a big part of the reason it has taken so long to agree on anything!

paddingtonbear1 Sat 21-Jul-07 23:22:44

Thanks - I hope things go well for you too!

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 28-Jul-07 21:18:50

I thought I would bump this - as I am still looking for inspiration. I wonder also if we would get into trouble for scattering ashes at a national park? Or if we would be ok if we don't make a big deal about it?

batey Sat 28-Jul-07 21:30:28

We scattered my Mums ashes recently. It was a difficult day, but good too IYKWIM. Long story, but we did half on a beach and half from a cliff. There were some comedy moments, regarding the wind! But Mum would have laughed too. We basically took turns to scatter a spoonful each, there were 9 of including kids from 7-13. There was alot more of the actual ashes than we'd imagined, so it took a while. We all said a goodbye in our own way as we did it.we then went and had a pub lunch in her favourite pub and toasted our dear Mum with a large G&T! The next day, before we left the kids left a flower each nearby, that were her favourites. HTH

Sorry, welling up so can't write anymore.

RIELOVESBACARDI Sat 28-Jul-07 21:35:27

the little ones could let a balloon go each

skyatnight Sat 28-Jul-07 21:41:19

Hi BMSA. Not sure I can give you much inspiration but this thread has reminded me of scattering my Dad's ashes.

After he died, we had nothing much to go on, in terms of his wishes. He had once mentioned having his ashes scattered on a golf course where he was club champion in his youth. Apparently there was a hole with a tree that he always used to hit (with the golf ball)! We were not sure whether he was just joking but, in the absence of anything else, it seemed like the right thing to do. The course was in the town where he had been born and also it was somewhere where he had been young and vigorous and successful, full of potential, so it seemed fitting.

We couldn't ask permission as it might have been refused so we had to do it surreptitiously. We booked a round of golf. I had to be a caddy as I don't play. As (bad) luck would have it, the course was really busy on the day - a beautiful, crisp, sunny autumn day. It was a beautiful place with lots of mature trees and a lovely old clubhouse. I could understand why the place had been special to him. We got to the right hole and had to scatter the ashes really quickly because there was another group of people just behind us. We virtually had to tread the ashes in around the tree so that they would not be so noticeable in the grass and soil. I found it a bit traumatic and burst into tears but we had time to have a hug, have a drink from a hip flask, say a quick prayer and a poem, before we had to hurry on. It was all a bit of a farce but I'm glad that we managed to return him to somewhere he had been happy and I think he would have understood about us having to rush things.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 28-Jul-07 21:42:49

Thank you for sharing your experience batey - I am sure it is a raw memory for you still so I appreciate your words. I know that we will be going to a pub afterwards as dad was fond of a drink (as any good scouser!).

- but I am not sure how to involve the younger ones as none of them ever met dad - something I will always regret. I want to take my children and dh up to Yorkshire because it is such an important place for me and I want to share that.

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 28-Jul-07 21:47:44

Thank you sky at night - strangely enough a golf course would have been another option for us - as dad had a terrible habit of taking 'shortcuts' over golf courses or private farmland when we went on walks in the Dales etc. and the no. of times we were close to being hit by golf balls (or shot at by irate farmers!!)... oh dear I am going to start welling up if I get reminiscing ...

skyatnight Sat 28-Jul-07 22:06:00

It will no doubt be a bit of a tough day for you, even 15 years on, but there is also a kind of relief/catharsis with it. I got drunk later in the evening as it was the only way I could deal with my feelings.

I wouldn't ask permission from anyone because, as I said, you may not get it and that might mean that you have to change your plans. If it is a public place, you may have to pick your time carefully or hang around a bit to get the place to yourselves.

Even if they didn't get to meet him, I think the children will understand the significance of the event if it is explained to them and might be glad to be involved. If any of them is not happy about it, they could just watch instead. Letting go of balloons, placing flowers or planting something, sharing reminiscences, reading a poem - I think all of these are good ways of marking the occasion.

The Dales sounds like a lovely place for this - wild and open - feeling of freedom.

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