Marking a year since Janice’s death with a remembrance

It’s coming up on the anniversary of Janice’s death, and I want to call that to remembrance, at least for my family and me. Not that we’re likely to forget. I just want to plan and do something deliberate.

I’ve got her ashes, and scattering some of them feels right. I’ve done no research yet, and my impression is that there are laws about that, since there are laws about everything. Janice loved nothing more than she loved water, and some of her ashes will have to go to Lake Michigan, her childhood lake—mine, too—which is even more impressive now that it’s been recognized as the western arm of Lake Michigan-Huron, the largest freshwater lake on Earth. Getting to Chicago will take some time to pull off, and I’ll save some ashes for that trip. Some will definitely go into the Pacific Ocean. She loved it so, even near L.A.

We’ve had a memorial wall above the buffet in the living room for a long time, and I’ve started adding pictures to it from closer to the end when she started to look like someone else—before she again looked more like Janice than ever and beautiful, a few days before she passed away. I’m adding older photos, too, from her childhood and youth and early in our marriage, which feels right and rounds things out. She wasn’t always sick—in fact, she was never sick with more than a passing cold the whole time I knew her—and I like seeing pictures of her hale and hearty, back when I didn’t much like walking with her because she tended to leave me wheezing in her wake.

I think she’d like to help our garden grow, too, and I’m going to let that happen. I feel mighty odd making decisions on her behalf based on what I think she might approve of, something I could never have gotten away with when she was still physical, even if I were goofy enough to try such a thing.

Janice was a generous soul and I’m planning to give away many things in her memory—books and objets d’art mostly, and maybe some of her art. She loved giving gifts, and I’ll enjoy doing it for her. I remember what good friends she had, and how few.

I don’t think I want a party. I’m thinking, enough of us to make a circle around a fire in our pit in the garden, with marshmallows and singing. She’d like that.