Tag Archives: ashes

dawn over Emerald Bay

I made it to the spot where Eagle Creek flows under the road and leaps over the cliff about a minute before local dawn on Saturday. I took a picture that is crappy but it shows the sun just peeping over the mountains on the east side of the lake.


One person was already there: a real photographer with his camera on a tripos capturing the serene scene. We said hello to each other but otherwise went about our own business. It was a few minutes before 6. The rest of our group wasn’t due until 7 so I just looked around a bit & drank in the silence and beauty and snapped a couple of photos of my own. A couple of kayakers were out on the bay. (Those two little dots are kayakers.)


Presently a large van pulled up and disgorged about a dozen teenagers who came down to where I was and started hooting and hollering and throwing rocks and things. I went back up to the road. I hoped they would get tired before Jeremy got there & luckily by that time they were just leaving. Another group came and went so when Nancy & Linda arrived about 10 til we were completely alone. Sarah then picked up the bag with the jars and we all went down the steps to the creek and falls. We each selected a jar and went to commune with Zach’s remains one last time.

I had somehow gotten the idea that the ashes would float at least a little so I went to the pool and tipped a little in. To my horror, the ashes didn’t float at all. They went straight to the bottom of that lovely pool and made a big gray stain on the rocks under the still water. Of course I could feel Zach laughing at me for my foolishness.

So then I went to the end of the pool where the water starts to rush over the rocks preparatory to going over the falls and put a little more in. This time the bulk of the ash was swept away immediately but there were little solid bits (bone?) that caught in the crevices in the rocks and stared back at me as if to say, ‘Now what, big boy?’

I picked the frothiest part of the rapids where the bottom couldn’t be seen and poured all the rest in. It’s like jumping off the cliff, I said to Zach. All at once or not at all.

Sarah came over and helped me sweep the worst of the stain into the running water but the little bits in the crevices were obstinate so we let them be.


Zach’s ashes

Zach’s ashes have been at my house since I came back from Louisiana. They rest on a table in my living room. I’ve placed his Hobbes doll next to him along with the Rubik’s Cube that he was so good at. One of the flower arrangements that came in December dried out kind of nicely so I’ve kept it there too.

Here’s a photo: IMG_7814

Next week it will all change. Sarah is coming Wednesday night & we will take the ashes and distribute them into 6 small Mason jars. These we will carry with us up to Lake Tahoe where on Saturday morning we will each – 6 of us now – take a jar and place his remains back into the earth there.

After months of avoidance, everyone is finally talking seriously about the little details of this event. I expect to have a post about it next week. Here’s a picture I took back in March of the spot we will most likely be at: Eagle Creek Falls just above Emerald Bay.

IMG_7881 cropped