Rebecca West: Words & Music

A Place of Honor

Rebecca's Memorial Garden

In accordance with Rebecca's wishes, her body was cremated. She had said that she wanted a flowering bush to be planted with her ashes near our house. And she emphasized in her handwritten instructions that it be "next to Bob's." So my granddaughter, Larissa Gore, and I planted a bush for me at the same time we planted Rebecca's. My children can add a marker for my bush and my ashes when my time comes.

We selected two Flame Azalea bushes, one for Rebecca and one for me, plus a Summer Eyelet bush to plant between them to represent the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our marriage. We planted them near the front entrance to my house.

A week later my daughter Suzanne, her husband Fred, their daughter Larissa, and I gathered outside my home to honor Rebecca's memory and to add her ashes and a stone marker to the bushes. Fred took lots of photos. Here are a few of them.

Suzanne read a passage from the Bible and made some comments. We listened to the recording of Rebecca singing "You Raise Me Up" (her favorite song and the title track on her album) as it played on a CD player nearby. And I shed some more tears.

And then we took turns adding Rebecca's ashes to the bushes. First, Suzanne...

Then Larissa...

And Fred...

And me. Then Suzanne and Larissa added more soil around each of the bushes.

I watered the plants and later added a layer of pine bark mini nuggets...

and the memorial stone marker that my son David and his wife Vickie provided.

The photo above shows how the flowers on the Flame Azalea bushes will look each Spring during the anniversary of God's angels taking Rebecca to Heaven. The Summer Eyelet will have white flowers with a spicy fragrance.

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