Thu, August 23, 2012
Creating Significance
August 18th marked the 40th anniversary of my son’s Birth. In order to celebrate his Life properly in my way of thinking, I took off for the place where he is “buried”… On an Island in Lake Michigan, high on Mt Pisgah.

We stayed in our family cabin, so full of memories I swear the walls have expanded. Our days were spent with toes in singing sand, sinking our bodies into cool, clear, colors of happiness…I mean water. . .no, I mean Joy!  And I can hear the rhythm that is more natural than the ticking of the clock, it is my own. And thoughts, followed entirely to the end while then cherishing the moments of silence on the other end before another thought begins,_________________________        

Imagine NOT multi tasking, but giving each task your full and complete attention. That is, if I should decide to put myself to task at all and the only thing that takes precedence over what I decide, is the noticing of the eagles flight so high overhead, the building of a spider's web without fear of the human looking on.
The Universe displayed for our enjoyment a spectacular array of shooting stars and view of the International space station (2 nights in a row), few man-made things excite me but that was pretty cool). Every moment felt like a Gift and we knew it.
I would be traveling on the 18th, so we pretended that the 16th was his day and off we went to the top of the dune. A moment to be still with him, to miss him, and invariably I remember the day we laid his ashes to rest there, can’t help myself, don’t want to, it feels right to remember…it feels significant to me. And the sunset was beautiful as a pocket of storm moved closer, making the clouds and colors so intense and perfect. He is everywhere with me but I am glad to think of him as “at home”, and there.
I remember August 18th 1997 –
We let for Mt. Pisgah later than we had hoped, but of course it was perfect timing. As we’re taking our first steps up the sand dune, I turn to see the sun drop into the horizon, beautiful, not spectacular, but then that wasn’t really the reason we were here anyway.

A group of kids and several adults threw me for a moment, not that they would stop me, but I’m not used to seeing other people on the dune. Bu the time we reached the top, gasping for air, they were beginning their descent.
We joined at the very top, looking for and not seeing a tree or rock to act as the perfect marker. Then we knew!  Lex, without a word, began to dig even before we had all decided. It was the perfect placement at the highest point on the island, nine inches wide and two feet deep.

We allowed the plan to unfold and reveal itself to us.

Harry asked, “Do you want me to just pour his ashes in or should each take a handful - How do you want to do this?”
I knew instantly, “Please pour him into my hand.”
I thought, let me experience feeling him in my hand, hold him for a moment, letting him slip through my fingers and return to the earth; how perfectly symbolic.
Without words we each saw the perfection, the unity, the control we had – more than the funeral. So far, the experience had been done to us in so many ways, and we could adapt, but call few shots. This however was ours, all ours.

Like a layered star, Harry poured my son’s ashes into my hand and as I released them, they fell into Cara’s hand, placed just below mine, Ali’s below her’s, and Lex below Ali’s and eventually Harry’s, too. It felt good, it felt so right, it felt so quiet. We took our time. We held him in our hands and felt the changes in him, and in us. We felt the texture of his ashes and tiny pieces of bone. We listened to the sound of him reaching the bottom of the hole, and we cried. It was not a grave, not even a hole because he would forever be a part of the whole, the whole dune, the whole island, the whole Universe, the whole of Life.

One by one, gently and finally together, we slowly filled the whole in with sand, and took our own direction to absorb what had just occurred in the last 30 minutes and the last year and a half.  Ali wanted to go to the bluff where she had been so afraid to do a press hand stand and flip off the edge of the dune. Demetrius had stood below to cheer her on, “Come on Ali Bali, you can do it, I’m right here”. She and Harry sat at the landing spot to bury three of his bones, right where he had stood. She cried as she rotated them in her hand and they spoke of him.

Lex went 50 feet down the dune to where I remember them having sat together two years earlier, watching and talking, always talking. He dug in the sand now, alone, I think he cried. I hope he cried.

Cara stayed at the top of the dune, and I moved off to the side to watch the end of the color from the sunset –
To cry and talk to him, to say happy birthday, and give thanks.

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