Tiny pink urn

Dad’s taught me so much of what I know; how to tie my laces, how to ride a bike, how to swim, how to be facetious and mostly get away with it, how to pull funny pranks on mates…and the important things; like how to be a good friend, how to really listen to someone, how to mingle at parties, what to look for in a life partner…there are so many things that Dad taught me, I can scarcely list them all.

Memories come to mind of Dad – brought on usually by scents or songs. …Dad laughing as I told him a stupid joke, Dad shaking his head and rubbing his forehead in exasperation when we didn’t agree (which was a lot), Dad putting his thumbs in the waistband of his pants – which was a sign of danger and meant that Dad was close to breaking point and about to start really yelling, Dad patting my knee fondly when we’d sit on the bench waiting for my psych appointment when I was much younger or the way Dad would rub the tops of my shoulders whenever I was scared; “it’s okay, Darl”.

I can hear his gruff voice when I close my eyes.

I miss him. So much.

It’s weird what you remember after someone you love is gone.

Mom wanting to release Dad’s ashes into the river really upset me. I’m not ready to let him go.

To try to alleviate my suffering, I asked Mom if I could please have “a tiny bit of Dad’s ashes” to mix in with the soil on the Magnolia tree we have. It’s a tiny thing, just a baby tree. A ‘treelette’ if you will. It will probably take 50 years to see it as a fully grown tree, but I like the idea of watching it grow and having a solid thing to talk to and hang out with. A piece of my Dad. This is special for these reasons:

  1. Dad loved trees and nature so this is very fitting for him
  2. Magnolias are very special because we spent 15 years in the Northern Territory on MAGNOLIA CLOSE.

I held my breath waiting for Mom to reply and when she did, tears of relief ran down my face: “Of course, sweetheart – your Dad would like that a lot”.

1 problem down. 1 to go – how to get the ashes from Mom and how to transport them.

My Dad’s ashes, you guys.

The burnt bits of his body.

How are we as a society okay with this???

I can’t sometimes. I can’t dwell on it because it always has me crying hard at the thought that my 6-foot-tall Dad is now ashes in a copper urn.

Absurdly, I thought a small plastic container would do.

In my mind’s eye, I could even see Dad laughing about it “I’m not too good for tupperwear, Chook! Hahahahaha!”.

No, you’re not. You’ve always been a humble man, God bless you.

Alun was appalled at the idea.

A small cardboard box arrived in the mail a few days later and Alun formally presented it to me.

“It’s for you, Gorg”

Is it perfume? No – maybe earrings???

I was so excited. I giggled as I tore the sticky tape off.

Alun put his hand over mine “Slow down, tiger – this is special and will probably make you cry”


I opened it carefully now. Biting my lip.

Alun was right, when I unraveled the tissue paper, I cried at the sight of a little pink urn – probably the size of an eraser. It was very heavy. Solid.

Alun “having a beer with Dad” šŸ˜­

In tears, I thanked Alun. To make light of the situation, I made a big show of ‘weighing’ the urn in my hand; “Dad’s lost a bit of weight”.

Alun chuckled and shook his head.

I couldn’t face seeing Dad’s big urn, so Alun went. He took a paper funnel with him so he wouldn’t “spill” any of Dad as he carefully transferred his ashes from one urn to another.

Crying as I type this to you. I never thought we’d be having this conversation…about my Dad’s ashes.


When I can muster up the courage, I’ll tip some of Dad’s ashes into the soil in the pot the Magnolia tree is growing. Not all, because Alun is very taken with the pink urn and even took it with him to the pub the other day, so he could “have a pint with the old man”.

A pint of Guiness. My Dad’s favourite.

13 responses to “Tiny pink urn”

  1. What a precious, precious remembrance of your dad. What wonderful memories you had of him. And that cute, little pink urn is sooooo adorable. That Alun took it (your dad) to the pub to have a drink with him is so beautiful! What a precious read this was! Thanks for sharing this with us, Janet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Kelly…my husband’s thoughtfulness is one of his best assets. I’m so blessed to have such a caring other half. My Dad loved having a pint with Alun – the two of them would regularly meet at the pub, bless them xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many examples in this piece of a truly loving family. Sorry your father died, but happy for the warmth of your surrounding family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Jeff. I’m really blessed to have such an amazing Dad, thoughtful husband and loving Mom xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dads ashes were planted in his widows garden. I don’t have a continuing relationship with her so, i never get to have private air conversations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you don’t get to sit with your Dad in the garden, Matt. That breaks my heart. Iā€™m sending you lots of love ā¤ļø

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Magnolia trees, I reckon, are one of the most beautiful trees in the world. And when they’re in bloom… doubly more so. Truly a spectacular sight.

    May your special tree live for generations and generations to come and may ever bloom be in honour of your dad.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I so agree, Jewel. Their flowers are so big and sooo beautiful. Thank you for your kind message xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey there, what an amazing gesture by Alun to do that for you. I too like the idea of having some “thing” that I can sit with and talk to like a crazy person when I am missing my dad. Very nice tribute Janet. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugs back, Tommy. I’m both saddened and blessed that you understand šŸ˜Œ I wish in many ways that you didn’t because I’d rather you still had your Dad around in person xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have entered a new phase of “missing” Janet. My dad has been gone since 08′ and early on I knew he could still be with me. He would not be in his mid 80’s and I realize that the time for being angry has now passed for me as there is no guarantees that if Cancer had not taken his life back then that he would still be here as time eventually catches up. Non the less, I miss him when I know that he and I would be sitting in the back yard, having a beer, and chatting about some home improvement project. I still miss him for sure, but I am no longer mad and that means I just get to enjoy my memories, untainted by my grief of his loss. This may not be for all, but it is a recent realization for myself. Perhaps that will also help you in time. Hugs from me to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so thankful to hear that your navigation through grief is one of fondness and happy memories of your Dad, Tommy. That gives me hope and God knows I could do with some of that right now. I’m still in the angry and confused phase. We didn’t have a funeral or any type of service so in my mind and heart, I feel trapped in a dark, painful place of in-between worlds…and honestly I’m PISSED about it. I don’t know how to navigate this. I don’t know how to move forward when I’m stuck in a space that holds so much uncertainty.

        I pray you will continue to find peace, happiness and fond memories of your Dad xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You are allowed to be pissed off. Do not let anyone tell you different. Just accept it and sit with it. The reason you are pissed now, may evolve into a different type of anger later. You are not a bad person and you do not have to ever apologize for being angry. You grieve in a way that helps you and accept that it is your way, without judgement. I got your back!


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