Prior to his death, my
husband Gordon asked me to promise that one day
I would return to his favourite island in the Algonquin Park interior,
or to Loch Ness in Scotland, and inter his ashes
alongside the ashes of his cat Buddy and dogs Scratch and Casey.
Buddy predeceased Gord by six months. Scratch and Casey outlived Gord
by seven and eight years, respectively.
The north side of Gord's favourite island,
on North Tea Lake in Algonquin Park.
The north shore of Loch Ness, in Scotland.
In August 2012, almost a decade after Gord passed, my friend Louise, her son Christopher, my daughter Emily and I made the 20 km canoe trip into Algonquin Park and back, to fulfill Gord's last wishes.
Emilyís condition for visiting her Dad's favourite lake was that she not be asked to participate in the burial. Christopher also preferred not to be involved. We took a kayak, along with Gordís big yellow canoe, so I could easily slip away and do what I needed to do while Louise and the kids continued to enjoy their camping trip. On Tuesday August 14th, I paddled our kayak from the island on which we were camped to "Gord's island." I wandered around his island, chose what I felt was an appropriate place, and buried my beloved husband and pets. Interring the ashes of four family members on my own was heart-wrenching, but I think Gord would have appreciated the quiet and intimacy with which his interment was handled.
These are pictures from our 2012 canoe trip to North Tea Lake and "Gord's Island":
Google image of North Tea Lake,
in the northwest corner of Algonquin Park.
The location of "Gord's Island" is indicated in yellow.
The south side of "Gord's Island"
The view from Gord's final resting place
Throughout the trip, we flew Gord's camping flag
at our campsite, about 1.5 kms east
of "Gord's Island."
The east end of "Gord's Island" on the day we left.
As we passed by his island on the way out,
I dipped Gord's flag in North Tea Lake.
Then I took it home and dried it out.
Some day, my daughter and I hope to make
a pilgrimage to the north shore of Loch Ness,
to repatriate Gord's Scottish flag for him.
Gord, Buddy, Scratch and Casey are finally at rest together, in the arms of Mother Nature. I know Gord would be pleased...
Gord, Scratch and Casey, on "Gord's Island," August 1999
Gord on his island, August 1999