Farewell with Amazing Grace — Fourth Quarter Begins pg282–283
Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic
That fine, sunny Saturday we cruised out of the Sausalito dock on the Memorials at Sea trawler. All our parent’s friends had already passed over, so it was a small group of us.
My sister and brother, his wife and her son were on board, along with Ruth. Ruth had been our parent’s devoted and extraordinarily patient caregiver for many years. She was thrilled to have a rare day off so she could come with us. A pair of pelicans circled the boat, while two dolphins rode the bow wave to escort us out the Golden Gate. The sound system was superb and the music haunting. We released both cans of ash to merge with rose petals and the bouquets in the Pacific Ocean. The wreaths floated freely next to each other as the incoming tide swept them back under the bridge together. Looking up at the orange-red span I realized it was sixty years almost to the day that Joan and Roy had driven over the Golden Gate Bridge on their honeymoon to San Francisco. — From Chapter 15
This was the painting I did the day after my parent’s memorial service. Years before when lucid, and before dementia turned her brain to bread pudding, Joan had expressed a wish that her and my father’s ashes be scattered together at sea. The cathedral of Neptune was the perfect venue to honor the passing of the generation before us. We rode the swells at the edge of a great big ocean under a clear sky.
Joan and Roy were both descendants of Highland clans. There is a profound something about bagpipes playing Amazing Graze that stirs the salt in Scottish blood — no matter how diluted by time and distance from the original castle. It works even if there isn’t an actual Scot in a kilt on board. The haunting melody of the lost being found swells the hearts of mourners, as the pipes serenade souls to whatever Brigadoon awaits.
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