I wasn't really expecting a reply to that post; as I've said, this thread is like a diary (with readers'comments!), and I've got a print-out of it somewhere. So I just wanted to record the last step in the process.
But thank you (again) for responding.
Reading bible passages is not irrational, either. It can be like ready any other poetry. It has meaning to you, and that's all that matters.
My brother was cool. I suggested that he read something from the Bible, because as I said, I knew he'd want to. So he asked me if I had any particular passages in mind, and I said that there was some good material in Ecclesiastes.
This was all last night. So we identified a couple of passages, and I left the final selection to him. And to his credit, he stuck to the secular passages which don't mention God at all, because he knew I wouldn't want to hear all that.
So that was a cool compromise. He got to read the Bible, I didn't have to listen to God stuff.
For what its worth, when my dad died my mom gave some of his ashes to me and my brother to do with whatever felt right for us. I took a trip to the Grand Canyon (which my dad had visited on multiple occasions and loved) and scattered his ashes at sunset. It was a very powerful experience, and I'm glad I did it.
That sounds good, Trav. It's an interesting example of how we assign meanings to things. Existentially speaking, it really doesn't matter what happens to some ashes. But emotionally speaking, it does.
For some reason, I'm reminded of the demise of the writer Hunter S Thompson, whose work I loved; on his stated request:
On August 20, 2005, in a private ceremony, Thompson's ashes were fired from a cannon to the tune of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" and Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." The cannon was placed atop a 153-foot tower of his own design, in the shape of a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button originally used in his 1970 campaign for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. Red, white, blue, and green fireworks were launched along with his ashes.
That's the way to do it, Trav; go out with a bang.
Hugs and I hope it goes well for you all.
Thanks. It went well.
And throughout all of time, we have created rituals because on many levels, we need rituals.
Good point, Quesi. Brother and I needed to do something out of the ordinary in order to acknowledge the uniqueness of the occasion. And between the two of us, in spite of him being a christian and me not, we created something which worked for both of us.
I'll think of you tomorrow.
Thank you. And thanks for the PM, much appreciated.
I think humans have a need for a certain degree of sentimentality and emotional ritual.
Cheers, Garja. It's an interesting point that religion meets certain emotional needs, and that's why it's so persistent. But start a new thread on that, OK?
...nice one Gnu
....I'm glad you and your brother can get to do this
.......I wish you both the best
Actually, at various times this morning I did think about you guys here; because I'd re-read this thread last night, and all your comments - and especially Ray's - brought me to tears again.
So you may have been thinking about me - but I was also thinking about you!
I'm sorry to hear about your folks. I hope everything goes as well as can be expected under the circumstances.
Mike and I walked up to the ridge this morning; the sun was shining, the air was clear and we could see for miles. We got to the top of the field overlooking our old home. I read from a card (written by Mike), announcing to the world why we were there and what we were doing. I then walked along the ridge, slowly scattering Dad's ashes while Brother walked behind me reading out loud.
When I'd finished, we went back and repeated the process, scattering Mum's ashes over Dad's.
Mike then extended his hand to me (which is kind of normal for us; since we only meet 2 or 3 times a year, we usually shake hands on saying hello and goodbye), but I ignored it and gave him a big hug. And then there were tears, on both sides.
Which was cool. Though a bit weird. Or extra-ordinary. As it should be, I suppose.
But we did it, and it was good. It was what Mum wanted, and we did it.
And I appreciate the support I've received here.