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So why she wanted her ashes scattered into the sea, I’ll never know.

But she always used to say … to all of us … “I don’t want to be buried.  I don’t want anyone tied to a place.  Just scatter me off the heads.”

We used to go to this place a lot, mum and I.

Although she didn’t like swimming.  I do recall one 42 degree day that she finally came for a paddle.  Years ago.

I have always loved this beach.  I love being in the sea.

Although it is right at the heads, this little part is surrounded by rocks and quite sheltered.

My children swim here a lot.

I am proud of my boys – her boys – for coming with me.  I didn’t take them to the funeral, that would have been too much for them.

But this was perfect.


She was right.

As usual.

Even when she wasn’t.

I think the death of a parent is one of life’s great fears.

As a child I would sometimes work myself into a right state … and cry myself to sleep.

But I am lucky.

I had my mother for 41 years.  My father had his for 8.  I still have him.

My mother collapsed and died at my feet.

I tried to resuscitate her.

I went to the hospital with her.

And I told them to stop.


Because she would have expected me to.

And I knew.

She had raised me to know.

Her siblings called her ‘Skinny’.

She was beautiful.

And my mother.

Who had held me in her hands.

Who had spent night after night with her arm hanging out of her bed, in the middle of winter, because I needed her to have her hand on me.

To touch me.

This was what she wanted.

She knew.

She was right.

And I knew.

Because she had made sure I knew.

And that is the gift.


I love being in the sea.

Today the sea was warm.

Strangely warm.

So I fulfilled my mother’s last request.

Because I knew.

Life is complicated.

Joyous, beautiful, confusing, heartbreaking, ridiculous, wonderful, challenging, frightening, thrilling.

Love is everything.

Divine. Perfect. Flawed.

Worth every risk.

And you know it.

My mother knew it.  She took the risk.

It is the weekend before Mothers Day.

I am a motherless daughter.

A motherless son told me that what I did today was a very Hindu tradition.

Yes, it is.

It is also simply a beautiful thing.

And a wish granted.