Author Topic: Ashes (again)  (Read 1528 times)


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2017, 06:48:37 AM »

Burying John's ashes must have been really hard given the immediate uncertainty of your situation, to feel that way is only natural.  Sending you giant hugs.

The weird thing for me is knowing that Scott isn't in those ashes - they are ashes and he was many things but ashes, no -  and maybe that's why I'm being such a weirdo about this.  When I teach ancient Egypt, this idea of "ka," which translates from hieroglyphics as "vital essence,"  comes up when we talk about the pharaohs' tombs (bear with me on the art history analogy).  I just feel like Scott was such a vibrant, loving force in this world and when his life ended, that was it - what remained was his spirit that he shared with everyone he met.  For me, the ashes mean nothing.  They aren't him.  I'm sorry if this is the wrong thing to say.  But Scott shared his gift, his "ka," with so many people over so many years in so many places in so many circumstances - he was a joyous and loving soul who embraced every day as an adventure and he shared that love with everyone.  Even on this trip in Rome, one of my intern's boyfriends had Scott as his art teacher in HS yearrs ago, and she told me that he and his friends all loved him and remember him so fondly - for me a reminder of his spirit - so much more satisfying than the ashes. 

I guess this is just an awkward way of trying to say that, while I cannot deal with the ashes for reasons that are not yet entirely clear, John, like Scott, shared generously his "vital essence" with so many people and that, at least for me, is where the comfort lies.  And we got to enjoy the intimacy of that "vital essence", too, for you four years, for me nine.  I am grateful for that gift every day of my life.  And that vital essence isn't in the ashes or in the grave or in one fixed place - I like to think it floats all around me and courses through me, and was then and is now and always will be a part of me, and of M.  That's how I made my peace with this.

If you're going to teach the same class 6 times a year seemingly in perpetuity, there might as well be a useful lesson in it, right? 



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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2017, 05:08:14 PM »
I loved your art history lesson and explanation of "ka".  I always find it so hard to wrap my head around how, when a person dies, all that is in their head (all the information and memories) and all the energy and spirit and emotions that made them who they were just disappears when they die.  And all that is left is their physical body.  How could they be so FULL of life and then it is all gone.  But I agree that their spirit is still around us and that it is up to us to keep that spirit alive, which is what I am trying to do for my kids.  My husband was one of those "larger than life" people so the void we are living with is immense. And though it seems like an impossible task sometimes, I am trying to keep his "presence" with us as we continue on without him.  I can't express it as well as you did and in fact, I had tears in my eyes when I read your description of Scott's "vital essence" in your last post.

Even still, I have been hesitant to do anything with his ashes.  Heck, I still have his towel hanging in the bathroom and his coats and hats and shoes in the hallway after 2 1/2 years. But all your stories of spreading ashes in the far corners of the world or not so far but special places is giving me courage to do the same some day.