The Tree

I was trying to take a picture of two of my grandchildren next to that tree they are standing next to. It was so difficult! It was like trying to keep ants on a sixpence! Right ones there, go and get the other, right first one has run off, OK get that one sorted now go get the other and so on. Will ran around for five minutes and this is the best shot I got! It gave us a laugh anyway.
This tree is down by the local river. My Dads ashes are under that tree. We planted it as a little sapling in 2000 after his cremation. It was his favourite spot where he used to walk his dog so we thought it would be appropriate as he spent so much time there.
I rang the Parks Trust who look after that part of the river and surrounding land to see what they had to say about me planting a tree with my dads ashes underneath, I was prepared to do it anyway, I just preferred to do it the right way if possible, I can be a little headstrong.
I was pleasantly surprised when they said that it was fine, they would buy the tree as they were repopulating that area anyway and they even sent someone down earlier to dig the hole.
We (me and Will, my three children and my brother, his wife and son) arrived with our ashes and the guy who prepared the hole disappeared for a bit to leave us to it. We put his ashes in and put some nasturtiums in the hole as well. Each of our children put some soil in the hole and the guy came and filled it in properly and put up a support for the little tree. The only thing they asked was that we have no plaque or flowers there, this was what I wanted anyway so was fine by me.
We then spent a bit of time by the river with the children, it meant so much more to me than the service we had at the crematorium. This was my real goodbye to my Dad.


CurlyPops said...

That is such a wonderful idea and a lovely way to remember your dad. I wonder if that is possible in Aus?

Nikki Cardigan said...

The photo is perfect Alison. Every time you look at it you will be reminded of how hard it was actually take the photo and it will make you smile.

What a beautiful thing to be able to do for your Dad, but more so for you and your family. And how great for the Parks Trust to be so accepting of your request. I can only imagine that spending time in that park alone or with your family is a wonderful thing to do and a great way to think of your Dad, rather than visiting a cemetary or crematorium.

Thanks for sharing your idea and your memories.

MissyP said...

Hi Alison.

This story reminds me of one I have about my own Dad. It's a bit of a joke in our house now (nice to laugh about these things isn't it?). My Dad was also cremated and some time later the family had a little 'gathering' high on a hill in a historic town in central Victoria. We weren't sure about protocol either but were prepared to spread his ashes one way or another, even if it had to be 'ala Shawshank Redemption' (ie. through a hole in the pocket, down trouser leg! ;) ).

Anyway, we did it all above board but my step-mother emptied a great pile of the ash in the stump of a tree on the side of the hill. Several months later when we returned, the ash was till there. OMG. Now we laugh and talk about Dad "turning in his tree" if he knew this or that. It';s silly, I know, but it really does help by bringing a smile to my face every time I thinkl about it.

Thanks for sharing your story.