Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Sami: ‘Dad’s ashes nearly ended up in our corned beef’

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Sami: ‘Dad’s ashes nearly ended up in our corned beef’


Sami Muirhead: 'Dad’s ashes nearly ended up in our corned beef'

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My dad’s ashes nearly ended up in our corned beef this week, which is typical of me and also something my Papa Bear would have found very funny.

There has been a lot of death around us lately. Prince Philip of course, who died at 9pm on the ninth day of the month and the 99th day of the year, when he was 99.

A dear friend lost her dad this week and my own dad passed away close to a year ago. I was given one-third of his ashes. A portion went to my brother and the final portion went to my stepmother.

We all got our little bit to do what we wanted with, but I just plan to keep Dad in the TV room on a shelf. He always liked TV.

It is a dilemma many of us face in life: what to do with our loved one’s ashes in death.

But the thing is, the funeral parlour bottled Dad up in his hideous cardboard cylinder with a sunset and seagulls as the pattern on the sides. It is something straight from the eighties and it is all shades of orange ugly.

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It has long bugged me, so this week I finally bought a gorgeous ginger jar with guinea fowl on the vessel to put Dad’s ashes into as his final resting place. I don’t think Dad even liked guinea fowl, but they are full of character, playful and very loyal and loud, which is exactly like him. I also bought a few extra jars with different patterns for my two beloved dogs’ ashes.

So, I started a sort of makeshift planting production table on the kitchen bench late in the afternoon while I had a few wines to wash away my tears. By the time my husband arrived home at night, the dinner was half-cooked on the bench, the bottle of wine was more than half-empty and my jars were half-full, with ashes over the surface. My husband looked stunned, but sprang into action and swept all the ashes into all the right jars.

They now sit in their rightful spot on our shelf looking very pretty and more importantly, I want our family to look at them and remember the good times and talk about them frequently.

Author Sir Terry Pratchett once said, “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”