For the record, I’m really talking about my dad’s ashes. My dad died in 2016. He is sitting in an urn in our living room, and I seem to get some sort of odd comfort in knowing where he is. I didn’t really give this question much thought until our Boxing Day party, when a friend asked me who was sitting on the fireplace. It took me a minute to realize he was talking about my dad. This led to a discussion of scattering ashes and how to memorialize someone who has been cremated.
I love cemeteries. I’ve been actively involved with Riverside Cemetery since we moved to Macon. I love to go out and walk and look at the graves. I love knowing where my grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. But what am I going to do with Daddy?
At some point, my dad told someone he wanted his ashes scattered at Hanna Park in Jacksonville. He might have told me; to be perfectly honest, my memory is fuzzy on some things. There were a few things I really wanted to forget. But I can’t scatter him. I just can’t.
Part of it is the issue of memorializing, and this was my friend’s objection to scattering. I find comfort in bringing flowers and going to the cemetery. If I scatter him, how will anyone know where he is? How will anyone remember he was even here? Will anyone care? Who will remember him when I’m gone? How do we memorialize him?
My step-father’s ashes are at the National Cemetery in Salisbury, North Carolina. I told my mother we could put the two of them together and then I would only have to make one visit. I thought it was pretty funny but my mother didn’t.
I am the person who makes decisions. My daughter and I planned my father’s funeral. My brother has not been involved and has said he really doesn’t care. I care enough for both my brother and me.
I just don’t know what to do with Daddy. Do I scatter him, as he wished? I’m not ready. But he deserves to be memorialized somewhere. I just don’t know where.