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Ovation: Ashes In A Bottle – One Last Trip Around Florida

08/05/2013

NOTE-570The decision to be cremated is one that I made many years ago.  There are many who choose this as a final internment.  One widow is giving her travel-loving husband a final adventure at sea.

In March 2012, the ashes of Gordon Scott Smith were tossed off the coast of Big Pine Key, Florida by his widow, Beverly.  With his remains were two dollars and note instructions whoever found the bottle to call her and tell here where the ashes were.

Smith, from Louisville, Tennessee, had died at 57 from a sudden brain hemorrhage but his wife honored his love for travel and with the help of a few kind strangers his memory is living on in various places across the Florida coast.

“He loved the ocean.  I wanted to let him travel a little and let him sail away.” – Beverly Smith

Last Sunday, the bottle of ashes washed up in front of a hotel in Key Colony Beach, Florida, containing Beverly Smith’s original note and a second note from a man named Ross.  Ross, from Islamorada, Florida, about fifty miles from Big Pine Key, had been the first person to find the bottle.

“I called his wife to let her know where her husband was, and she was so, so happy.  She said the money was for a phone call to let her know where he was.  Put a new note in with him and let him travel on!” – Ross from Islamorada

The ashes have since been placed in a rum bottle with another note and another dollar bill and sent back out to sea.  I think this is a beautiful tribute.

What do you think?  Sweet and sentimental or somewhat morbid?

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11 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    I think it is wonderful. It obviously gives her great joy.

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  2. I like it. I think it’s sweet.

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  3. I *love* this so much!!! I think it is a wonderfully sweet way to connect the living with each other (she gets to talk to strangers she would otherwise not know) and for her to feel like she is getting little “messages” from her husband as she gets these calls.

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  4. Sweet. Sentimental. Perfect.

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  5. This is indeed sweet, but at the same time do we really want our oceans polluted with a bunch of bottles as people copy the idea?

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  6. I find both humor and irony in the bottle’s journey. This lady is simply trying to deny the reality of death, but I can’t fault her for it. We humans it seems are incapable of imagining an end to self-awareness, which is what death is. No, “imagining” isn’t the right word – I’m not sure what is, but I have experienced it three times. It was during sedation, once in an oral surgeon’s chair and twice during colonscopy s. (Is there a plural for that?) Anyway, in all three instances I was not merely asleep, I was gone. I mean, nowhere’sville. Complete blanks. Missing. I can’t say I didn’t like it, there was nothing to like. Or dislike. Nothing.

    I completely agree with cremation as a sensible approach to the issue, Dia. It is ecologically satisfying but I also like the notion that some evidence of my existence on this blue marble might remain after I leave for the void, even if only etched on an urn. But spare me the bottle – I’m with you on the litterbug thing.

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