My great friend’s father died after illness in old age. His mother was fragile with, if not actual dementia, a developing confusion. They decided as a family that it would be lovely to group together to send his father’s ashes off in a fitting manner that their mother could relate to. They were great cruisers and so they booked everyone onto a ‘final cruise’. They would all be together, they could celebrate their father’s life, they could leave him doing what he had so loved doing…bobbing about on the sea. However, the cruise companies frown upon people flapping ashes about as they don’t always go overboard on those huge ships and the wind can be a problem. All potentially disconcerting for other passengers. So they popped the ashes into a more disguised supermarket carrier bag. They chose to meet after a few days to settle, picking a quiet time when the decks would be clear and gathered together. They had decided just to say a few words if they wanted to but nothing formal was arranged. They waited for a while. No one opted to speak. Eventually my friend gently asked his mother if she had brought the ashes as perhaps it was time. She looked puzzled. Eventually they understood from her that she had found lots of dust in a bag in her suitcase. Worried that she had lost her mind completely, she had assumed that she had brought the contents of the vacuum by accident and had flushed it all down the loo. Plan B, they adjourned to the bar.