Sunday, March 3, 2024

Carrying Out Mum's Final Wishes

Greetings lovely friends & readers

When my Mum passed away last year she left very specific instructions on where she wanted her ashes to go after cremation.    Long time readers of my blog may recall I often used to take Mum to lay flowers where Dads ashes are when I was down in Taranaki.  You can read about some of these visits in the posts  Here,  Here,  Here,  & Here

Beautiful Mount Taranaki - photo taken from car window

 As it is coming up 6 months since Mum's passing it was high time we carried out her final wishes.  
But first I needed to prepare a few things ..........

The flowers on Mums casket                                  Flowers on my deck table

When Mum passed we found a bag with all her funeral instructions inside.  You can read about these in this Post..  She specifically wanted pink & mauve flowers on her casket which I was able to arrange.  Afterwards I bought the casket flowers home with me & hung them up in bunches to try & dry them, including all the greenery.  Truthfully, I hung them up, then completely forgot about them until well after Christmas.

They dried really well but had faded - I wasn't sure what to do with them until my dear friend Sally (who trained as a florist) kindly offered to come & help me make them into a bouquet.  Sally is a whizz & put together the most lovely bouquet from what I'd dried.  Here she is in action, at my dining table, chatting away & putting together a bouquet from all my oddments - she's amazing  πŸ’• (I paid her in Fudge Cake)


I was just so thrilled with what Sally managed to use up & it turned out just beautiful  πŸ’—  

As Mum always took red silk roses to Dad, I bought some from the Variety Store & made up a bunch to lay for Dad.



Mum always loved Lavender so I dried a bunch of my own lavender & thought it might be nice for the Grandsons to make a card each to go with this.  


The day before we left I baked Banana Bread, Chocolate Fudge Slice, Lasagne & Bacon & Egg Pie.  It saved me having to buy so much food while we were away.



Kitchen & Living area in the middle, 2 sets of bedrooms on either side each with large bathrooms

In January I went online & booked us into a nice Airbnb in a small township just out of the city & 5 minutes walk to the beach.  Because there were 7 of us going (my sons & their families) I needed something large enough to accomodate us all.  This worked out well, not flash but certainly sufficient, nice & private & everybody had their own space.  



Tucked in behind the Crematorium is a beautiful large, horse-shoe shaped garden called The Garden Of Remembrance.  This is where my Dad's ashes are - he has been gone 23 years this June.  Mum has spent the past 22 1/2 years telling us all ... That is where I am going - there with your Dad. 
 It is a lovely peaceful place with seats dotted around the edges & planted out with native trees & flowering shrubs.  The birdlife is wonderful.
My brother & sister in law had driven up to meet us here as they had Mum's ashes.
(Yes I did text them the morning we were to meet up to remind them to not forget the ashes!!!)  πŸ˜‰

This whole area was covered in Wandering Dew - you can see where we cleared it

The biggest hurdle I had was finding where Dad actually was - it had been 2 years since I had last visited & the growth, the tree removal & the weather storms had completely changed the area. I always thought I could find it blindfolded but it was not so.
The Resting with the Angels plaque that Mum had placed there was what I was looking for - I just could not find it & was beginning to feel quite panicked after about 10 minutes searching.

There was no way I could just place Mums ashes anywhere.  Finally I found what looked like a red rose & when I cleared away the vast area of wandering dew, there was the plaque. I can't tell you how relieved I was ... many prayers were said!!  The family helped me clear the area well & we were able to dig Mums ashes in beside where Dads were & place our flowers. 

Eldest son took lots of photos for me.


Alec saying a few words to Great Nan as he laid the lavender - he had a very special relationship with her. 



There is a huge big old moss covered tree right in the middle of the gardens - it must be VeRy old as it was old when Dads ashes first went there.  The Grandsons loved it.



Afterwards we all drove 5 minutes up the road to The Quail's Nest for a wonderful lunch together.  Although I have forgotten to take any photos of the food Or the family members ... the meal was amazing!


And the views were rather spectacular too.


The boys ate their meals then had a run around outside for awhile.  After lunch we made our way back into the city - it was the weekend of the annual Americarna event..   We all went for a wander around looking at the American cars ...   I especially loved the Buick below because it came with its own matching luggage & travel rug (!!)  And a gorgeous pale green colour πŸ’š


Back at the B & B youngest son went for a surf & the Grandsons found the biggest surfboard in the world!!!



The following day (Sunday) we all packed up & headed home again - it had been a wonderful time together carrying out Mum's final wishes.  I feel so pleased that we were able to do this last thing for her & I can "visit" anytime I am heading south in the future.

Thank you all if you've managed to stay through this long photo-heavy post. 
There is still time to enter my Easter Giveaway should you wish - go to * this post * to enter the draw.  Thank you to those that have already.
Wishing you all much love & friendship dear friends,
Love Julie & the furry three x0x0x0

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful post Julie. Wonderful that you were able to put the ashes with your Dads. When Mum passed she wanted Dads ashes buried with her(she didn't want cremation). We nearly forgot to take the box to the funeral home Thankfully my brother in law remembered. :)

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  2. How wonderful you made what could’ve have been very maudlin into something beautiful shared with her family. Dotti in CT

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    1. Thank you so much Dotti ... that is so kind of you. xx

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  3. Aww that was beautiful Julie❤️

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  4. Beautiful, so glad that your Mom and Dad are together.

    God bless.

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  5. You took what could've been a somber occasion and made it a thoughtful family memory.

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    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth. That is very kind of you to say. xx

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  6. That's lovely and will bring happy (although bittersweet) memories. We took my Mum's ashes to the family plot after Christmas and so she is with Dad and her Mum and Dad too.
    I am rather taken with the Buick too - matching rugs and cases is a lovely idea!
    Have a good week
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  7. That is nice that your Mum and Dad are now back together and you were able to fulfill her wishes. The flowers look lovely. Sending you hugs. Christine xx

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  8. Well done Julie, so good to read the family went with you. Good too you had clear instructions of what was to be done. The dried flowers looked lovely. That big old moss covered tree is perfect for young boys to play on.

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  9. Such a special experience for all the family to share. I love the precious photos of Alec speaking with his Nan. This outing to carry out your Mum's final wishes was a wonderful memory creator for your family.

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  10. A beautiful, bittersweet post, dear Julie. Wonderful that all your family were able to share this special time of honouring your mum, grandmother and great grandmother filled with beautiful memories. How special you were able to carry out your beloved mum's final wishes. The ancient moss covered tree is the perfect place for little boys to climb and how beautiful is the bouquet of dried flowers. Just perfect.

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  11. Oh my you had me in tears , bless you all . and so happy you had a nice trip after , hugs June.

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  12. You're a very good daughter to your Mum, Julie. In life and death. What a great thing to do. Xxx

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  13. What a lovely sincere post Julie...Very lovely....
    A touch of sadness of course, at least you
    carried out Mum's wishes as she wanted them..!

    The flowers and what Sally has done with them,
    is nice, and will last for a very time, time to remember
    Mum..! One person you never forget in your life, is
    your Mum...Bless!x
    And it's a good experience for the boys to...!

    Banana Bread, Chocolate Fudge Slice, Lasagne,
    Bacon & Egg Pie..HeHe! Isn't there one missing...! :O).

    God bless you Julie...You and all your family...not
    forgetting the furry ones of course...always look
    forward to your posts..as does my daughter...
    Take care now...Oh! Love the Buick...But then l
    love American cars...Bye for now...! :O)x
    πŸ™πŸΎπŸ˜½πŸ’ž πŸ™πŸΎπŸ˜½πŸ’ž πŸ™πŸΎπŸ˜½πŸ’ž πŸ™πŸΎ

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  14. What a lovely post, Julie. I read the posts you highlighted, too. Honestly, I could spend hours browsing your blog posts. I'm so glad you all managed to fulfil your mother's final wishes. She would have been proud of you all and now you can rest easy that you did everything you could for her. Not many of us can say that.

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  15. Beautiful memories. A lovely post

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  16. This is a lovely post Julie. For you and your sons and families to gather for such an emotional and loving remembrance.
    Lynn and Precious XX

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  17. How lovely! You are the sweetest! xo Pom Pom

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  18. What a perfect send off for your mum Julie.

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  19. A beautiful post Julie and your Mum would be so happy to be with your Dad. So special you could.all come together to carry out her wishes.
    I agree that Buick is fabulous and I so love that colour green...sending hugs xx

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  20. What a special family time you had all together during an emotional time xx

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  21. Thats very special.... a great honour to do that for your mum and dad....
    Hugz

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  22. Oh, what a sweet post!
    And I am SO happy you were able to locate the little placard! I know you must have panicked!
    hugs
    Donna

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  23. Your Mum is where she wanted to be, alongside your Dad, thank goodness you were able to find the spot. It's so lovely the whole family went to place her ashes there.

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  24. So sorry for your loss Julie but it's lovely that you have fulfilled your Mum's wishes surrounded by your Family. Cheers, Janette

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet kind comment Janette. xx

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  25. Nicely done. I think your parents' ashes are in the same remembrance garden as my grandparents.

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  26. What a special final send off for your Mum. The old Buick is a beauty!

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  27. How very special that you were able to be together as a family at such a time as this, Julie. So much love, and a connection the young boys will never lose. xxx

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  28. The dried flowers look very well presented, that looks like a very peaceful place. I put my wedding bouquet on my grandmothers grave, 42 years later the blue silk cornflowers are still there - faded but very much there! it's incredible, I am always astounded when I visit her to see them. Surely they won't last for ever!

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