It took a while for each of us to be ready for this but we had always known that her beloved ocean was the right place.
Mum loved the seaside; on warm summer days and in wild winter storms. She found peace and joy in the waves. Her eyes would sparkle while she searched for shells. When she caught a wave whilst bodyboarding her face would glow with pure elation. This is how I remember her most intensely; with a huge grin and paddling madly.
It was a blustery October morning when our family huddled together on Brighton Beach, Otago. We clambered over a few rocks to a secluded spot and waited for the low tide to turn.
We each added little notes to a blue vessel designed for releasing ashes into water. Secret and private goodbyes; last whispers of love to Karen.
We added tiny pansy blossoms to the lapping water where they danced before scattering on the shore. The breeze stole away the notes of songs that had played in our home a million times before.
My sister read out this beautiful quote before Dad and Casey scrambled to the end of a rocky outcrop to release vessel to the embrace of the vast ocean.
Alone I will not be
My comfort will come from the sea.
The stillness of the calm waves will drift by
I will be as one with the sea.
When the sun sets on the ocean blue,
Remember be me as I will always remember you.
As the sun rises...go live life as full as can be.
Apart...you and me...but at peace as I am free.