11: Stork Stand

11: Stork Stand

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery

Stork Stand

Love is missing someone whenever you’re apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you’re close in heart.

~Kay Knudsen

“We have to go, Mom,” my young son had pleaded. “Dad needs to be there.”

My husband had set up the trip to Kauai, Hawaii months ago. It was supposed to be for our 14th anniversary. Now, instead of a celebration, I was watching as my seven-year-old son Keefer spread part of my husband’s ashes in the beautiful waves. It wasn’t my idea. I didn’t want to make the trip. I wanted to cancel it and try to make sense of what was left of my life. My son had different ideas.

Several months after we had returned from Kauai we were down on the Washington coast near our home when I watched my son step into the edge of the Pacific Ocean. He lifted his left leg, placed his foot against the inside of his right knee, drew his hands into a prayer position and bowed his head. I watched this for a couple of minutes, amazed at his balance and concentration. Finally I approached him and whispered, “What are you doing?”

He opened one eye and turned his head slightly toward me. “Talking to Dad,” he said quietly.


He placed his left leg back down on the ground, turned to me and took my hands in his. “I’m talking to Dad.”

“How?” I questioned, confused.

“Mom,” he said, shaking his head back and forth. “We placed Dad’s ashes in the Pacific Ocean while we were in Hawaii.”

“Yeah.” I looked into his eyes a little deeper.

“Well Mom, anywhere there’s an ocean, I can talk to Dad. He’s everywhere now.”

That statement took my breath away. He was right of course. All of the oceans connect, so anywhere there’s an ocean, his dad, my husband will be there.

In that moment, I felt my husband’s spirit touch my heart just as my son’s had.

~Candace Carteen

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