“I love my Mum but I don’t want to inhale her.”
These immortal words were spoken by my cousin earlier this morning as we scattered her Mum’s ashes, my Auntie Lynne, under the horse chestnut tree where my Mum and Nan are also laid to rest.
I nearly wet myself laughing – can’t take me anywhere! I was stood next to the tree with my two cousins and my Dad, envisaging snorting my Auntie’s ashes like some crack addict and I couldn’t stop laughing.
Thankfully, they know me well!
It was a beautiful morning. We had walked through the alleyway to the plot of land that my Dad owns, (we used to live there – not in the field but the house attached!) and we’d thankfully just missed a massive downpour. Walking down the alleyway is like running the gauntlet. We play ‘Dodge the Dog Shit’ and ‘Limbo under the Nettles’ and do our best to get to the gate in one, piece. I had sandals on … but amazingly, I arrived pretty unscathed.
As we walked through the orchard to get to the land, shards of sunlight were bursting through the rain speckled trees to light our path. Whenever the sunshine comes out suddenly and unexpectedly, I always imagine it’s my Mum shining down on me. Silly really, it’s just sunshine … but the idea makes me smile.
The four of us made our way towards the tree, my Auntie in a small, navy blue box, weighing a whole lot more than I’d imagined. Bet that would have really annoyed her! Dad had done a great job, as usual, of ensuring that the flowers under the tree were beautiful and weirdly enough, it wasn’t weird. Yes it was very sad but my Auntie was such a fun-loving woman that you can’t help but smile when you think of her.
We all took it in turns to scatter her ashes in the soil and Dad gently turned the soil over so she didn’t blow away! I know it sounds a little macabre but it really wasn’t. Honest!
As we walked out of the field and through the orchard, making our way back to the alleyway, a sense of peace momentarily came over me. Life has been rough lately but I have such happy memories of this place (it’s the land attached to where I used to live,) that you feel like, for just a short period in time, you’re in another world. Bit like Narnia. But without the snow.
RIP Auntie Lynne. Love you.