By Martha Holmes
Camping in a tiny camper makes for a closeness that is beyond explanation.
I told you last week that my husband passed away while we were on a camping vacation. The people at the Florida campground were so kind and supportive to me as I waited for authorities to sign off on his death certificate so he could be cremated. I was adamant that I didn’t want his ashes shipped to me; I wanted to bring them home with me when I returned to Maryland.
It took about two weeks for the whole process. In the meantime, I stayed at my campsite in my 16’ hybrid camper and was shown every kindness and consideration by the campground management and guests. It validated my belief that people are basically good.
The ashes were finally released to me on Good Friday. I didn’t want to travel over the Easter weekend, so I made plans to leave on Monday. That first night, when I settled down to sleep, I had an uncomfortable feeling. It’s hard to explain, but the ashes just didn’t FEEL like my husband. I finally decided that there was no way to tell and that the box I was given probably contained a miscellaneous assortment of ashes and there was nothing I could do about it. I moved the box to the far end of the camper and went to sleep.
Finally, I set off early Monday morning with the help of my new friends. It was a bittersweet parting. I was well on my way back to Maryland when I received a call from the funeral home. They had given me the wrong ashes! Oh, dear. I was so upset that I had been sleeping with a stranger! It gave me a real chill, let me tell you. It was awful.
When I arrived in Maryland, I shipped the stranger’s ashes back to Florida and soon received a parcel from the funeral home. I knew right away that it was really my husband’s ashes. Don’t ask me how I knew … it just FELT like him!
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