Thoughts On Final Farewells

Yesterday I read a great post by Martha Goudey’s Blog “Taking Care of Mom” –Reflections on daily life with a 101-year-old woman. It addresses what one does with the “remains.”

I have to admit that in the two and a half years since my heart attack I think about my own mortality almost on a daily basis and what to do with my remains. I want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered on the Gulf Stream off of Fort Lauderdale. In my years as a boat captain I’ve made many trips up and down the east coast of the United States on boats and I can imagine that some small part of my ashes might take me on one last trip up that way and perhaps an atom or two might even make it all the way across the pond back to England where both sides of my family came from.

One thing I’ve done is to gather some music for the ceremony at sea. I definitely don’t want want “Amazing Grace” played. Yes, I love the song, but it is such a clichĂ© it would make me vomit in the urn and I’d go over the side in a lump.

I’ve made a CD of the music I want played when they take me out to sea for the last time and it’s in the hands of a couple of people so perhaps it won’t get lost. One of the songs, and I can’t find a video of it, is done by Dave Hole, called “Lost At Sea.”

As the sun sinks down like a submarine

You will find me down on the coast.

I’ll be gazing out at the shining sea

That’s the time I miss you the most.

Every star that shines will one day die

Every journey comes to an end.

And there are some things we’ll never know

Though it helps us to pretend.

When I see your eyes

In the gloom around me

And if I’m asked where you are gone

I’ll say you are lost at sea.

One of the songs will be “I’ll Fly Away,”

Another is Tom Waits doing “Shiver me Timbers” which pretty well sums up my life.

And, then it’s time to do the big dump to this tune by the now-defunct New Orleans group the Subdudes. Forward to 58 seconds to start the song at the right place.


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2 responses to “Thoughts On Final Farewells

  1. You old salt, you. Thank you. Glad to find your blog, too.

    Ditto yours.

  2. Well, lookie here what I found you!


    It’s a fair trade, because you found me Martha’s blog, and believe me – I could stand a little of that kind of reading. Today is mom’s 93rd birthday. It’s wonderful to still have her with me. Yep. Sure is. Except when it feels like I can’t even turn around, my cage is so small.

    Just be sure your friends know they’re supposed to actually do something with you, and not prop you on the mantel. I know I fellow who’s been carrying his brother with him for two decades. As these things go it’s not so bad. Brother-in-an-urn has been back to the Med, across the Atlantic and around the Carib, but still, there comes a time…

    I’m on board with cremation myself, though I’m rather fond of a cemetery plot I picked up at fire sale prices. It’s in the country and has a huge oak. Very nice. Fodder for another post some day.

    Now, off to listen to the rest of the music!

    I don’t know how I missed that. Thank you. I love the lines: “Every star that shines will one day die/Every journey comes to an end.”

    My brothers and my friend with a large boat all know about my wishes. I like the brother in an urn story.

    I always thought the idea of cemeteries was morbid but interesting where I grew up on the Cape with the headstones going back a couple of centuries. If you looked at the dates on them you saw that people then either died very young or very old. If you made it past infancy you seemed to have it made.

    But there is a small cemetery near where I lived in Ft. Lauderdale that I like. Penny and I used to walk by it every afternoon. My friend Stephen already had instructions to take a small pinch of my ashes and scatter them there.