Spreading Ashes: A Poem

As we delve into a series on the world of grief rituals, I wanted to begin by offering this poem that was written by a dear friend, Lauri Stock, after a weekend spent spreading her mother's ashes with her family and mother's friends. I asked if she would write about her experience to share with the Peace Through Grief community, and she replied with this beautiful poem.

They spread a portion of her ashes at the St. Pete Beach Library, where Lauri's mother helped develop a flourishing used book store that continues to bring important funds to help the library pay for its operations year after year. Leaving her ashes with her legacy.
Ashes sift through my fingers
Like the sugar white sand on your beach.
Bits of bones like the skeletons of countless
Sea creatures that crunch underfoot
As we walk to the water’s edge with your ashes
Your bones.
Your frail body
Transformed by death and fire
Strangely dense and heavy.
Ashes turn the water milky
Begin to sink,
Then are swept away by careless waves.We go from place to place , leaving bone and ash.
Your  remains diminish, bit by bit
Until I am holding an empty box coated in chalky dust.
Just as a year before you diminished bit by bit
Until I was holding your cool hand-
Nails still beautiful, parchment skin, fragile and bruised
And then with one short gasp, you were completely still.
– Lauri Stock