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February 20, 2009

Coming Home - The Story of Dad's Ashes

My father came home yesterday. Forty-nine years ago at the age of 47, he died. After being cremated, his ashes were interred in an unmarked grave somewhere in a cemetery in a very large city.

I knew what Cemetery he was in but when I went there to visit him on my 20th birthday, I was told that there was no way to find him as he was in a type of pauper's field. Since he had no marker, the cemetery staff said it would be impossible to find his resting spot. That news was quite upsetting to me but I accepted it and went on my way.

Seven years ago a very kind and generous individual heard my story and took it on himself to investigate further. My father's resting place was found, duly recorded in the cemetery books. I don't know why staff didn't look that up for me when I was 20...

I was thrilled but didn't want him there without some kind of marker. But what to do? Move him to another spot in the cemetery? I didn't like that idea as all his family is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Guelph Ontario.

This month my mother passed away and the decision was made. Since Dad was born and raised in Guelph, and married my mother there, and since his parents, brothers and several sets of grandparents and great-grandparents are all buried in Woodlawn, that is where he would go.

The cemetery arranged to disinter my father and ship his ashes to me for re-interment later in Woodlawn Cemetery (now called Woodlawn Memorial Gardens) It was a very happy day for me yesterday when I picked up my father's ashes at our local post office.

49 years later, his journey is almost complete. In the spring we will have a little ceremony to welcome Dad and Mother to their resting places in Woodlawn.


Velda said...

wow. I have no words, but wanted to tell you how much your story affected me. May he rest in peace now.

Harriet said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog for sometime now. You have lots of helpful information. I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. You can stop by my blog and pick it up.

Anonymous said...

Very touching. I was moved by this story of your father coming home and your family being at peace.