I was on my way home from attending a memorial service for my friend Joe. His ashes were buried at sea . . . or really, about a mile off the Rhode Island shore, near the Point Judith lighthouse. A lovely ceremony, with family and close friends. Then a larger gathering later on, with a few more people.
|On a South Carolina golf course, circa 2009.|
My sister and I went down there once, a few years later, to view the site. But it didn't do much for me. It just didn't feel like my parents were there. It might be different if we had a family burial place. But we don't.
The ship captain gave the family the exact coordinates of the burial spot. I don't know if they'll ever go back out to see it again . . . or if he'll still be there.
But it was nice to get together with three old friends, the day after the service, to play a round of golf in honor of our departed colleague. He was a golfing friend, but also a work friend, a poker friend, a lunch companion. He held great Fourth of July parties -- he had a swimming pool and risked life and limb to light up a fireworks show every year. We vacationed together in South Carolina; our kids didn't know one another, but they were the same age, so we followed them growing up, going to college, getting married. And now his older daughter is pregnant.
To tell the truth, he was a lousy golfer. But my world will be a little darker without him. He was a great guy, and would have made a wonderful grandfather.