Sunday, October 25, 2009

Scattering of Ashes

This sounds like a morbid subject, but if we are not taken suddenly and we have time to consider what we want to happen to our remains after death, the subject can be uplifting. In death we are not going to feel worms eating our flesh as we decay in a coffin, but the very thought of it for me is unpleasant. I would far rather be cremated and reduced to the basic elements before the worms can get hold of me. I have discussed this with my wife and family and all are in agreement. There is sweet harmony here. Now where would I want my ashes to be scattered? For sure, I would not want them to be buried in the garden or left in an urn on the mantelshelf or in the garage! My wish is for them to be scattered on the waters of the River Crouch at South Fambridge. As far as I am aware, there is no law prohibiting my wish; even if there were, who would know, apart from my Maker and those who do the scattering?

To my mind, South Fambridge would be a wonderful place to rest, while waiting for the transformation of my body into a spiritual one when the Lord comes for His own. I have so many wonderful memories of sailing to and fro along this stretch of the River. There is little that can compare with it on a fine day when cotton wool clouds are reflected from blue waters, and at sunset vibrant warm colours are reflected from mudflats. There truly is a spiritual dimension to the place. Wherever you look, the sky stretches into the distance, and the expanse of it is a major feature of the low-lying landscape. When the wind blows there is a rustling of the reeds where the coot sounds his note and the heron stands alone at the water’s edge. Geese, ducks, redshanks and plovers take their turn, along with lapwings, and even the cuckoo and the lark appear in due season. Hares course the banks and give one a fright as they dart from cover, while overhead a hovering kestrel seeks his prey.

When I am called home to be with the Lord, at the water’s edge there will be no tomb or epitaph, only the sound of laughing waters and the touch of the wind’s caress, reminders of joy, gladness and of life. For those who scatter my ashes, Fambridge will be a place of shared memories, moments most precious; there they can be glad I am at rest by the River of Life. (Revelation 22:1-5)

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