We finally reached that milestone which has been off in the horizon for such a long, long time. We spread your ashes at Strawberry Hill in Oregon, where your dads ashes are also spread. Your mothers strength continue to amaze me, on the day, but also every day since you left this world. She is an amazing woman kiddo, I am thankful for having been able to be here for her, and go through this with her, and you—-despite how painful it has been. To help me work through this I wanted to focus on your mother first, as I am still captivated by how strong she was a she carried your ashes down to the beach.
She was very emotional as she walked your ashes down to the beach, but she also did so with such confidence and purpose—-clearly she had done this before. But I also feel, like me, she needed to get past this milestone. It hasn’t been easy living with you sitting upon the help under the tie dye cloth your dad made. We’ve spent the last year in lockdown healing from your exit from this world, waiting for the day we could venture out in the world and properly return you to your father, and to the earth.
Strawberry Hill is a beautiful place to do this. As we arrived your mother shared with me how you, your father, and she had stumbled across the place back in the 1990s after you first moved to Oregon. She talked about how much you loved coming out to the beach, despite it being cold, and being a dog breath and sometimes vomit filled ride in the car. Strawberry Hill provides a rugged beauty that I think suits you and your father well—-from what I know of you both.
While the beach is rugged where we left you, it feels like very much a release into another world. One that is much more beautiful and free of the pain you struggled with. When you look down the beach it feels like it is a doorway to and endless place that dispels all that pain you carried around with you. I feel it. That ball of pain I used to see when I closed my eye and thought of you is gone.
I remember that day I brought you to Strawberry Hill back in 2016 and snuck this picture of you sitting on the rocks. I never imagined that I would be bringing you back there in the way I just did only five years later. I am not going to project some embodied view of what you are doing right now, but this photo helps me connect the dots between when I knew you in the flesh, spreading your ashes, and setting your soul free.
I only have one regret in all of this kiddo. I wish I had gone back on the trail with you as I threatened when you managed to get clean in 2016. It frustrates me that our society and careers do not allow for this. I should have followed through. ;-( Beyond that, I know I did my best to help you. I know I was hard. I know that I pushed you. But I also know that I put out a lot of energy over the last decade to try and show you how to live. I am still convinced that you wanted to live, you jut couldn’t quite figure out how to do it right, and the way your apartment was when you left this world, I can tell it was the this world that crushed you, and you didn’t see what was coming.
Be free kiddo. As I said before, I got your mom. I’ll take care of her, and make sure she experiences the best of this world while here. I am going to keep telling your story here on this blog, and work to memorialize you in our continued activities out in the world. I will be thinking of you out on the trail, and when we dig rocks!