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Goodbye My Love - Part 2 - The Committal


Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
As some of you may recall, my darling John finally closed his eyes 2 days before Christmas, and Christmas Day would have been his birthday. The funeral was 2 weeks later, and my son came over for the funeral week, but I delayed having the ashes committed until my son, who lives in California, could bring his children.

They arrived 10 days ago, and today we had the Committal Service. My son and his children, and my daughter, son-in-law and their daughter were present. The celebrant was dressed in a morning suit, and carried the ashes and a Very Clean Spade!

When we arrived at the flower bed, where John's plaque is attached to the kerb, the hole had been prepared, and there was a lovely perfume from the lavender and jasmine bushes behind. The celebrant read a poem, and we were all invited, in turn, to hold the container of ashes, and say a few words, and we all did, even my 7 year old grandson who announced, in his broad American accent "Gee, Grandpa, you're very heavy!", which broke the ice perfectly.

Then the celebrant emptied the ashes into the hole, and read another poem, urging us to celebrate and remember the good times that John's life had given us, and then covered the hole in, and shook hands with us all.

We had a few minutes to ourselves, and then went to a restaurant for lunch, and we all agreed that the service was perfect. John would have approved, and when his ashes were tipped into the hole, some of the dust blew in the air, which I reckoned was another gesture from John!

This was the final thing I had to do, regarding John, and I'm glad it's been done. But, like many of us here on TP, I "lost" my darling many years ago, and these things are just rituals to me. But both John and I observed all the rituals, and liked them.

I thought I'd share today with my friends on TP, just in case anyone is wondering what happens at a committal.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
That sounds very beautiful Scarlett. Your grandson's words nearly brought tears to my eyes. So innocent!


Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
West Midlands
What a wonderful send off :)

Got a smile on my face reading what your grandson said.

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point


Registered User
Jan 29, 2009
I am glad it went well and hope it has given you and your family comfort to have been together for it. Thank you for sharing it with us. Take care x


Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
So glad it went well Scarlett, love the comment from your grandson, you can usually rely on kids to set the tone! It's interesting that John's ashes were emptied out, when my parents' ashes were interred they were left in a casket on both occasions but I like your way better.

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Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
Actually I was asked if I wanted them sealed or not, and I chose the latter, as in "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust". Each to their own, and as I've said numerous times, there's no right or wrong way about anything surrounding funerals, it's all personal choice. :)

Flowers or no flowers, coffin or wicker basket, cars for all or none at all, hymns, eulogies, tea and cakes after, or a spread. So much depends on choice - and finances.

I didn't have to get an entry in the Book of Remembrance, or individual cards for myself and my children, but I wanted to. And now I feel I've completed all the aspects of this sad time, and I have to move on. I'm volunteering at the CAB, and enjoy that. I've booked for my ukulele lessons (!) to begin after my long weekend, next month, in Yorkshire.

I've had umpteen things redecorated, replaced or renewed, and I never ever turn down an offer to meet anyone for lunch or a coffee. I'm going to join the Can't Sing Choir - and that'll be enough for this year. I'm dreading Christmas, but that's a long way off.