There are those who believe in reincarnation. If so, I have returned again and again to the coastal land between Freshwater Lagoon and Richardson Grove in what is now northern California. Each lagoon offers fog-wrapped memories of nights under stars. Each river mouth births hazy memories of salmon runs. Every rocky guardian of the shoreline whispers of feasts provided by the sea.
Because my husband, Jack, has recently received a diagnoses of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, we have spent a good amount of time and energy over the past few weeks assuring that his wishes will be met when we get to the end of this disease. I don’t want to talk about PSP, except to say that each day is the best we get. We enjoy what we have and try not to look too far into the future.
In deciding what Jack wants done after his death, I have put some things in writing as well.
Jack wanted his body placed on a fiery Viking ship as I waded into the water and threw myself into the flames. We compromised. His ashes will be scattered into the ocean. If at all possible, I’ll take him for one last dive in the Caribbean off Paamul, Mexico.
As for me, I’d be happy to dig a hole in the forest when my time comes, lie down peacefully and let the woods have their way with my body. But, I’ll settle for my sons offering my ashes to a redwood grove of their choice. Someplace they can visit if they’d like, though I suspect I’ll soon enough be right here in Humboldt County again, in one form or another.