20 August 2014

Fare Thee Well Love

 My brother's remains were laid to rest on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at a beach on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The beach was a lovely, secluded spot near where our mother was born. She often talked of their family farm that ran from the mountains to the sea and this beautiful beach fit that description perfectly. When I saw it and remembered Don's desire to visit Mom's birth place, I knew it was the best place to release his ashes. As my Honey, our daughter and two grandchildren drove to the beach we were listening to a new CD, These Are The Moments by the Rankin Family, and the song below started to play as we crested the hill: "Fare Thee Well Love". It made me cry. It was written by Jimmy Rankin from nearby Mabou, Cape Breton and expressed my feelings well. 
 This trip started out to be a retracing of my roots with John, Kelly and the kids in Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Island and Boston. Having Don's remains added a dimension to the agenda in an unexpected but meaningful way. It was like having him with me to find his final resting place. We found a good one. Nearby was a cemetery filled with familiar Scottish names of our childhood, including many graves with our mother's maiden name, in this the place where my mother, grandfather and his father were born. So Don is back where his namesake, our greatgrandfather, is buried. 
 The day was cloudy in that almost raining kind of way and the sea had small but strong waves to receive and scatter the urn. I like that the urn had footprints on it, the footprints we leave behind as markers of our presence, and was built to dissolve in the arms of the sea. The Atlantic recieved his ashes and blended them with the elements of all other life in this ancient place from which we came. He's home. May he rest in peace. 
Fare thee well love by Jimmy Rankin is on this video on YouTube:
I feel honored to have had this hard task.


  1. So sorry for your loss, Mary.

  2. It's sad, but what you did for your brother was also a beautiful thing for him and for you.

  3. Oh, this brings tears to my eyes. I am so very sorry for your loss. Your caring is so apparent in your sweet straightforward way. I am very very sorry to hear of this, but glad that you were able to make this journey. I'm sure your brother would be tremendously appreciative. Take care, K.


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