The woman whose ashes we were scattering had no children of her own, but her niece, nephew, their spouses, kids and mother said the most incredible things about this woman, and it was a beautiful send-off. Each member of the family said the nicest things, recalling happy memories out on the bow of the yacht before the ashes were lowered into the water and had her burial at sea. The husband of the niece had written two emotional pages that he read aloud. Then the niece read her memories of this woman’s life, both bringing everyone to tears. Each member of the family then shared special memories with everyone laughing and crying simultaneously.

Childhood in Concentration Camps

This woman – who was of Hungarian descent – spent much of her childhood in concentration camps witnessing and enduring hideous, unimaginable horrors! Her life continued to be difficult throughout, but she perservered, eventually moving to the US, worked for an airline, and was a fashion designer and artist … never had children, was married once, and always kept close to her family. Apparently, after 9/11, she was moved to share her concentration camp stories with her family, but not in too much detail. She lived right in NYC for 40+ years, and a few years later when her health began to fail, her niece insisted that she move out to California to be near family … and she did. They admitted that she was a bit opinionated and tough as nails, but man did they love her. They brought photo collages with many pictures of the woman and her friends and family – all laughing and smiling. They clearly gave me an idea of who she was … and I liked her!

At Peace with Burial at Sea

After her ashes and rose petals were lowered into the ocean for the burial at sea, they poured in the rest of a bottle of Stolichnaya that was in her freezer when she died. “She loved her vodka,” said the niece, causing everyone to laugh … and cry.  We hope she is a peace. 

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