Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Apr. 12, 1999

Renette Davis

After they took Paul's body away yesterday, Philip and Karen and Ray and Sue stayed here for dinner. Then the kids went back to the apartment to sleep. We all had a hard time going to sleep, but once we settled down, I think we were all able to sleep ok.

This morning, Ray and Sue and Mom and I went out to the cemetery and I showed them where the plot is. We made arrangements for opening the grave. Ray asked if they would leave all of the dirt there instead of hauling it away to be brought back later like they usually do. That way those who want to can shovel dirt into the grave after we put the burial urn in.

The tentative plan now is to bury the ashes next Saturday morning (April 17) and have the memorial service that afternoon. We thought the burial of the ashes would be basically a family affair. (If you're on this list, you're considered family.) We haven't decided the exact times yet, possibly 10 a.m. for the cemetery and 3 or 4 p.m. for the memorial service. The women in the church will provide a light supper (sandwiches, chips, veggies) after the memorial service for everyone who wants to stay and visit with the family.

Ray thought it would be nice to have the ashes carried to the cemetery on a bicycle instead of in a limosine. He figured there were enough bicycle riders among the family and close friends that we would have a bicycle procession as well as a car procession to the cemetery. What do you bicycle riders think about that? There would be plenty of time between the cemetery and the memorial service for people to have showers and change clothes.

We would need to figure out where to start from (funeral home, our house, church, motel) and what route to take, especially for the bicyclists. We would also need to figure out how to actually carry the ashes. (Bob, can you give us an idea how heavy the urn/vault is and what the dimensions are likely to be?) I thought maybe they could be strapped into a child's seat. We just went out to the garage and we do have our old child's seat. It's about 8 1/2 inches across at the back. Philip thought he would like to carry the ashes on the back of his bike in the same seat that he rode in on the back of Paul's bike when he was little.

Ray plans to have communion at the cemetery and then put what's left of the elements in the grave. We checked with the cemetery this morning, and that was ok with them.

Well, I'm pretty tired, so I think I'll go take a nap now.

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Created: June 19, 1999
Last updated: July 21, 2010