What can one say after writing about the worst thing that can happen to a parent?
A few weeks back, a small group of us went with Jodi, Jon and Jake to scatter Katie's ashes in the woods near Jodi's childhood home (they also scattered ashes near Jon's parents, and brought some back to Malaysia). This was the home where Heidi, Jodi and I spent so many hours together, and the woods that we knew like the backs of our hands when we were younger. How unbearably sad, utterly surreal, and, in a small way, comforting, to be there scattering Katie's ashes....
Jodi read a beautiful and moving farewell to Katie, telling her she would be with her grandfather Joe there, in the woods where Papa Joe had so delighted in taking Jodi and her brother and sisters to play pirates after making paper pirate hats with them. Jon read a prayer that had been said at the funeral. They asked Jake (who is 5) if he wanted to say something. He had been playing with sticks and said he had found one that looked like a "7", which was good because Katie was 7. He had a pile of them and said something like it was his pile of "loving sticks". G-d bless him. So we all started collecting loving sticks for the pile.
Jodi showed him and her great-nephew the "fairy ring" of rocks there. Her sister went way back into the woods to see if something she remembered was still there. We all marveled over how easily the house they grew up in could be seen (having mostly played there in spring and summer, it was usually impossible to see the house at all through the trees, and, since it was a whole block away, felt rather far!).
Shabbat was fast approaching. Heidi and I were emotional wrecks. So glad I could go, though.
Jodi, Jon and Jake are back in Malaysia again. Miss them....