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El Ultimo Adios (The Last Goodbye)

U.S. Coast Guard Station, East Gloucester, Massachusetts July 31,1996

A couple weeks after my dad’s funeral my mom received a shoebox sized package with his ashes. My dad had served in the Merchant Marine during the second world war & was entitled to a burial at sea. My mom contacted the U.S. Coast Guard & scheduled a day for them to take us to scatter dad’s ashes off the Gloucester coast. It was a partly cloudy afternoon when mom & I met up with Father Jim, Uncle Serafino, & my sister in law Jackie.

The boat took us out to the waters off Braycee’s Cove. Father Jim said a few prayers and we began to scatter dad’s ashes into the water. This is one of those things that always looks better in movies. The… ashes flew back in our faces…my Uncle Serafino looked perplexed & said “I’m not sure we’re doing this right” I said, “Uncle Sophie, I don’t think there is “right way” to do this!” We slowly emptied the rest of the box gently over the side of the boat. We returned to the Coast Guard Station & were given a flag & a map with the precise location were we had scattered the ashes.

We thanked Father Jim & the Coast Guard folks & I drove mom home. I changed out of the black dress pants I had worn and put them in the box with the few remaining ashes. I buried them in our backyard near a statue of St.Anthony in the rear corner garden. I said a prayer. I didn’t say goodbye…when the ashes flew in my face earlier I had swallowed some of them so I figured Dad was now literally always with me.

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Written by PaulPallazola

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17 Comments

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  1. Sorry for your loss but you never lost your Dad if he’s still in your heart. He’s just gone to another room. Great memories and your father was fortunate to have been loved. I also lost my Dad and miss him.

  2. Logical natural events, but I never imagined before you wrote this experience. For you, it’s even become a special and unforgettable experience, is not it?
    And as you say, your father really wants to stay and unite within you, then he has asked the wind to blow his ashes into your face.

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