Scattering a Mother’s Ashes: On Grief, Intimacy, and Renewal

William Pierce in Literary Hub:

Dad called us, Thom and me, into the office. Its bifold louvre doors opened just behind my dining chair. He showed us the safe deposit key again. He showed us his will again. He showed us the folders of information about the condo in Florida, about his car, the binders of account statements, his credit cards, his social security, pension, and insurance policies. Part of me resisted.

And then he sprang a big one on us: he wanted to spread Mom’s ashes today. She wanted half to be spread in the gardens, and half at Jones Beach, where as a child she’d gone with her mother and sister nearly every summer day. That sun exposure, when she was immunosuppressed years later, had given her nearly twenty lesions a month, across her arms, legs, neck, and face, that her dermatologist would burn and freeze off: squamous, pre-squamous, and twice—jobs too dire for that simple burning—melanomas on her face.

More here.