Message 16 – The New Family, 8/23/09


“We attract and create family.”

Jason was an only child, but he had an extended family, extended in many directions. He created a community of friends wherever he was, he adopted close friends as brothers and sisters, he was adopted by the community of friends his parents created, he accepted his parents’ new romantic partners as extended family. Jason never had rules about family. He of course loved his genetic family, and loved others in his super-extended family. He was a child of the New Culture, where loving community is central. He also was a natural and humble community leader in all of the groups he co-created.

Today family gathered to spread his ashes in Gloucester off the dock across from Chuck’s house; we chose to have a small group, but many extended family were with us in spirit, so many. Jason spent his whole life in Gloucester and took many photos there in the past few years; we stayed there for 3 weeks between homes in our move to Ipswich when Chuck was in India, holed up in a tiny house with our extended family Linda, Julia, and Christopher, who were visiting from Texas. Chuck and I spent part of our honeymoon there when his father lived there; the home belongs to the Foster family.

We wanted a small group today, and we had representatives from the two genetic sides – Fosters and Herreras, Michelle’s beloved partner Kule, Jason’s godmother, and one of Jason’s best friends Gus. On the way, Gus, my sister Mariana, and I listened to Diabeticbunnyducks, the silly recordings he and his brothers Gus, Dustin, and Noah did for the past 4 years. It was great to laugh in preparation for the emotional departure of Jason’s remaining ashes (a small portion is reserved for his favorite swimhole in the White Mountains). If you haven’t yet listened to DB, come on down.

The large Tibetan bowl held the rose petals we had blessed in Jason’s ceremony, used for healing us on the healing table a week ago, and dried in the Ipswich sun. We added Bobbie’s Essence of Love and lavender from Erin’s mom KT and mixed this with Jason’s ashes after each family member had a chance to hold Jason’s ashes in the original plastic bag he was placed. The bowl was placed in a basket on top of a quilt that Erin had made, a gift from KT.

The walk down the hill and through the marshes was a slow shamanic journey, walking carefully on the broken boardwalk that fell a few inches into the water with each step. The grandmothers blew us away with their determination to do the walk with us, and we all made it to the floating dock in the loving sun. We each took a handful of the ash-petal mixture and threw it off the dock; the water is so salty the ashes were held like a mystical cloud in the water for some time.

Chuck and I floated the bowl out to deeper waters on a boogie board. Our tears joined us as we threw handfuls of ashes out into Jason’s cove, as our family members held sacred space from the dock. We submerged the bowl with remaining ashes into the marsh water, returning our baby to the earth and the water, as we had brought him in 17 years ago. We rang the bowl 17 times and swam through the floating petals, through the salty ashes, calling our family to join us. We felt relief in the completion of spreading his ashes to places of joy for our son.