Family photo

This was taken right before or right after we tossed my Uncle Gary's ashes into a stream, cupful by cupful, hand by hand. It was a beautiful day. We remembered him well, there in the sunshine, surrounded by trees and flowers and birds and the sound of that water, and it felt like a holy thing, at least in the way I understand such things to be: not trapped in a dark place surrounded by strangers, no solemn hymns, no talk of heaven or higher beings, just a simple passage marked by family with kind words and laughter. That's a good life, I think, and not a bad way to leave it.