When Kai’s mother died and was cremated, he was so sad that she was cremated instead of buried. For several weeks, he’d periodically use his play tools to pretend to build a coffin for her “so she doesn’t have to be burned up”. Later, he would go on to talk about how he wanted “Mama to return to the earth.”
Her ashes were divided up and, through a series of odd and frustrating circumstances, it took several months before Kai got his portion of her ashes. Nobody was quite sure what to do with them, so for a few months, they sat until the time came when he could decide what to do with them.
Yesterday, it was time.
We were going up to Mount Rainier. The ashes came with us.
When we found the right spot, Kai put a picture of him and his Mama in a little hole. (The picture was printed on regular paper so it would be more biodegradable.) On the back of the picture was written “Mama and Kai”.
Then, he helped his dad pour the ashes in. He was surprised at how white they were.
Kai put a tiny red flower on top, because her favorite color was red. His dad refilled the hole for him.
He topped it with a special rock he’d brought from home. On the rock, we wrote “Mama”.
Kai sat looking at it a few minutes…
…before deciding it needed a flower.
Then, after looking at it, he decided, “The rock needs to point to the mountain.” He spent a long time adjusting things.
Finally, after much thinking, he was satisfied.
We asked if he wanted to say anything. He said no. We gave him a few minutes alone.
Then he rejoined us for the hike back out. “Maybe in the future, people will find this. And they’ll know.”
I cannot think of a better eulogy.