Sunday 20 August 2017

Mixed feelings - Seattle trip Feb 2017

6 months ago (20th Feb 2017) Ruby’s funeral was held at Immaculate Conception church in Seattle (a couple of blocks from her parent’s house). Ruby expressed very clear wishes on a number of things to happen after she died. She wanted her funeral to be in Seattle, for her to be cremated, the ashes to be scattered in Puget Sound near Alki beach and for a group of friends and family to go to Seattle for the funeral and to see where she grew up.

Ten of us travelled to Seattle from Australia - some on their first trip to the USA. We were in Seattle for just 6 days. I was particularly stressed on the way over as I felt somewhat responsible for everyone and was worried about the funeral (doing a eulogy and how the day would run). While we did get a good deal on the flights (considering the short notice), we did miss the connecting flight from LAX to Seattle as LAX was very busy (didn’t realise it was Presidents Day weekend). Fortunately we all managed to get on the next flight to Seattle.

Everything worked on the day of the funeral. Ruby’s song she wanted played worked even though it was just my iPhone speaker into a microphone. The eulogy went well and I got to meet some of Ruby’s school friends. I did manage to spill part of lunch on myself when helping clean up and was almost left behind when heading off to scatter the ashes (there were three cars of us to organise).

Ruby had indicated where exactly she wanted the ashes scattered from, but when Ruby’s brother and I investigated the spot, it was going to be hard to actually scatter the ashes in the water. Fortunately we found a better spot just around the corner. The scattering went very well (glad I read up on it before trying) and also scattering some of flowers from the funeral made it more special. The picture of my boys looking out to sea watching the ashes float away is both gut-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. 

 Seattle Feb 2017

The next couple of days we saw the sights of Seattle. Had coffee. Went to the Space Needle, Pike Place and the Museum of Flight (where the boys had a fantastic couple of hours). Found some great places to eat. I now know some new places to get coffee that are in short walking distance to Ruby’s parent’s house: Peloton and Cherry St Coffee (at 12th and James). And a great chicken wings and waffles place...
I tweeted this just when we were just about to leave Seattle. It describes my mood at the end of the trip perfectly. Having (finally!) organised all the photos (thanks to everyone who sent me pictures in the last couple of months) I was able to relive this trip - and hence the blog post. So while I still have mixed feelings about the trip I definitely have some good memories and I don't feel like I left Ruby there - she came back with us too.

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