Friday, July 3, 2020

ASHES IN THE SCATTER GARDEN

Scatter Garden at St John's Episcopal Church, Thibodaux, La.

In the latter part of March, on a Saturday near the first anniversary of Tom's death, my family had arranged with Fr Stephen, the rector at St John's Episcopal Church, for the brief ceremony to scatter Tom's ashes in the lovely Scatter Garden at the church. The prayers in the Episcopal Church "Book of common Prayer" for spreading ashes are the same as for burial with the substitution of a word or two.

We had planned for the attendance of the immediate family, spouses and partners, and grandchildren who could come to be there and to gather for a meal in a restaurant afterward. That was not to be. Right around that time the numbers of cases of COVID-19 were increasing, and Governor Edwards issued a stay-at-home order. We postponed the ceremony.

When Edwards moved the state into Phase 2, we rescheduled the ceremony for Wednesday, June 5, with only Fr Stephen, our three children, Patrick, Tim, and Alison, and me present. When we arrived at the church rain poured down. We waited under the shelter at the door of the parish hall until the rain slacked. After the ceremony, my children and I shared a take-out meal on the patio at my house.

The pictures show the Scatter Garden at St John. It's a beautiful, peaceful place. In the background raised tombs in the church cemetery are visible. Julie, a member of the congregation carved the lovely Celtic cross that stands in the middle of the Scatter Garden.

The memorial plaque with Tom's name and dates was already in place for the ceremony. The brick in the wall next to Tom's is reserved for me when the time comes.