My husband Andy died last year. People ask if and when I’m scattering his ashes. The answer is I’m not, they are staying with me. So I wrote a little story about doing it instead.

I wanted to keep your boots. They cremated you with them anyway. The funeral director had been understanding about the deposit paid late, so I let it go. Your family wanted to scatter your ashes in the Lake District. Fair enough. It’s nice there, smooth land, safe underfoot and calm waters. But I scooped half of you into a fancy box to keep all for myself. A cloud of dust puffed up though I worked slow and steady.
The relatives and me trundled up to Ambleside in a hired car, one with new rubber tyres making too easy work of the motorway. There wasn’t much to talk about at the lake’s edge. The water’s surface so solemn and covered in thick invisible skin, I dipped and touched it with the very tip of my finger. It trembled but didn’t break. A man in swimming trunks appeared. He stood there then walked in to the water, slowly, ‘til he was waist deep. Your auntie tutted but couldn’t stop staring. I told the story about your boots. Your family didn’t know. I think they wanted someone to be angry at. May as well be the funeral director or swimming trunks guy. We all took a handful of ashes. My words to you, about you, came out wrong and ashes hit water more loudly than you’d think. And 50% of you is a lot of handfuls, babe. Still I imagined most, all of it, was 100% boot.
You need to be logged in to contribute.

Recitals

Near Ambleside, UK

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Also check out

  • Shorelines
    New

    Seafront: Storm, Brighton, October 2018

    · 13 Jul, 2021
  • Post
    New

    We’re hosting a two-day information-design course, so sign up now

    · 5 Aug, 2021
  • Shorelines

    A Crying Place

    Carolyn Black
    · 28 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    The Fairy Pools

    · 16 Oct, 2020
  • Shorelines

    There was an ominous light over River Zazere

    Tamsin Grainger
    · 30 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    Foraging

    · 30 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    The Severn Bore by Kel Portman and read by Carolyn Black

    Kel
    · 30 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    NT603846

    · 1 Oct, 2020
  • Shorelines

    Suffolk Coast

    · 3 Mar, 2021
  • Shorelines
    New

    Trying to Wash Clean

    · 2 Aug, 2021
  • Walkspace
    New

    In Search of the Brumphalos

    · 4 Aug, 2021
  • Walking Event
    New
    SWS21

    Daydream Livorno SoundWalk 3

    · 2021-09-04 19:00
Shorelines
New
Seafront: Storm, Brighton, October 2018
Post
New
We’re hosting a two-day information-design course, so sign up now

5 Aug, 2021

Shorelines
A Crying Place
Shorelines
The Fairy Pools
Shorelines
There was an ominous light over River Zazere
Shorelines
Foraging
Shorelines
The Severn Bore by Kel Portman and read by Carolyn Black
Shorelines
NT603846
Shorelines
Suffolk Coast
Shorelines
New
Trying to Wash Clean
Walkspace
New
In Search of the Brumphalos

4 Aug, 2021

Walking Event
New
SWS21
Daydream Livorno SoundWalk 3

2021-09-04 19:00