Papa’s Stone

Most of my immediate family got together a few weeks ago.  It was the first time many of us were together since my dad’s memorial service back in June.We were putting a stone on his grave.

It was an informal gathering without any ceremony.  Dogs were running around.  Fog was rolling in.

The view down the hill is of an elementary school.

A spot on the hillside a short distance away affords a beautiful view of Mt. Tam

Some of these photos are from a previous visit to the site.  The hillside has old eucalyptus trees.

We had a little picnic with bread, cheese, fruit and homemade cookies.  Some of us stood and some of us were sitting on blankets.  It is hard to imagine a family gathering without food and it was something my dad did: fed the people he loved.  Or even liked.

We also planted a few flower bulbs.  The pink amaryllis that my dad was so fond of we all know better  by their more common name: naked ladies.  The dirt was very hard with rocks and roots but we all worked to give these bulbs a chance.  It may be a few years before we see blooms but I think my dad would enjoy the flowers and love the idea of being surrounded by naked ladies.  I believe the sight of these flowers will always remind me of him.

The hillside were my dad’s ashes are buried is in the green part of a cemetery that also has a conventional area.  In the green area, cut and polished grave markers are not allowed.  Small  natural boulders can be used to mark the final resting place of your loved one.

One of my sisters collected several large rocks from a beach at Sea Ranch, the location of a family vacation home and many wonderful, relaxing visits.  I’m really not sure how she and her friends got the rocks up the path but somehow they managed it. The one that was picked weighs over 26 lbs so it was a labor of love.  It feels right to have a rock from this special place as the grave stone.

In addition, she had the wonderful idea of using dad’s signature for his name on the stone.  A piece of abalone shell was incorporated in the design.

The result is unique and creative, an appropriate marker befitting the man whose grave it rests on.

Shells and rocks that had been temporary markers now sit around the heavy stone.  We lay flowers, shook out the blankets, and walked off the hillside.

Thank you for your visit.

20 Comments

Filed under Life

20 responses to “Papa’s Stone

  1. violetannie63

    The grave stone is beautiful and I think your Dad would have approved. What a lovely idea to use his signature & the piece of shell.

  2. Beautiful. Perfect! What a gorgeous marker. I like thinking of him there… it’s a beautiful cemetery. Three of my grandparents and my husband are buried in the conventional area. My parents plan to be buried in the green area. I love visiting, and I know you will, too.

    • I do love to visit. We picked a spot under a wonderful, gnarled eucalyptus that we thought he would like. Growing up there was a giant eucalyptus tree on our hill and so it has the connection too.

  3. Anna Schlobohm de Cruder

    Kathleen sent Jim & I a photo of the engraved rock. It was fitting then, and even moreso now, ‘en situ’. I love that your Dad and my Dad are the 2 men I knew who are the most connected in my mind with Naked Ladies. Both delighted in the name and the way they just damned well come up and bloom. Thank you for the further sharing. It did my heart good.

  4. Ann Goheen

    Beautiful stone, beautiful spot…

  5. Jean

    Thank you for that blog post Dianne.
    Your father’s stone is amazing!

    • Hey, Jean – thank you for the comment. I have more from my vacation to share (SEATTLE, yay!) but this post has been in my head and it was time to write it. It is an amazing stone.

  6. Sharon

    Thank you Dianne for sharing this moment with us. Very special

  7. Kathleen Faw

    Need to give Sarah credit, both the stone and the signature idea were hers. I just translated the idea into actual artwork we could have engraved. Mama and me took the stone to the engravers and had them pick the best shell from a selection we took (Papa collected more abalone shells than any one person could ever use). We were very happy with the results.

  8. cousin Cheryl

    Thanx for letting me be a part of Gramp Faws memorial back in June. The stone it’s beautiful, as is the entire Faw family. David it’s smiling!

  9. Monica Rudolph

    What a beautiful, touching, honest way to honor a good life and cherished memories. Your blog is inspiring.

  10. Pingback: You Can’t Choose | dianne faw

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