I want to have my ashes spread in the Pacific, just like my brother Jim and my brother John. I’d like the Neptune Society to come and pick up my body when the time comes, take me to the crematorium, then put my ashes on a boat and haul them out to sea. My family can have a memorial service for me, no body, no ashes.
I want to swim with the fishes when I die, if not in body, then at least in spirit. I can imagine bits of my ashes being scooped up by fish and taken off into the deeper water, or somehow managing to float off to distant continents, ones I might not see in this lifetime.
I have long had a love affair with the ocean. I love the sound of the waves, the salty air, the blue of the water and the glint of the sun. If I had unlimited money, I would own a house right on the shore and go to sleep every day to the lulling roar of the waves. I would also buy a boat, learn to sail, and head off on an ocean adventure. Not to mention that I’d take up scuba diving so that I could see the wonders under the water, and experience the vastness of that world.
I grew up in a landlocked place: North Central Texas, but even there I knew early on the allure of water. I loved the thunderstorms of my youth; the rain lashing against the windows. And I spent many a childhood day swimming at the lake at the State Park or Lake Texoma, or at the local swimming pool. And even now when I am stressed, I imagine myself swimming in a river filled with colorful fish. The result: my shoulders instantly relax.
So, there will be no cemetery for me. I want the freedom of the water I love: the Pacific, where two of my beloved brothers have gone before me. And I will go, too, when it is my time.