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My Return to Liverpool

Posted 09-14-2011 at 10:50 AM by ChrisGeorge
As some of you may know, I am originally from Liverpool, England. I have lived in the United States on and off, mostly on, since January 21, 1955, having come to the U.S. with my mother on board the Cunard liner Saxonia, met by my father who had emigrated to this country the previous September getting a position as a physical therapist at a medical facility called in CRI in Reisterstown, Maryland, that I am told was the forerunner of Baltimore's Kennedy Kreiger Institute (not sure what CRI stood for).

My father died in 1979 and my mother last year on August 24. One of the reasons Donna and I will be going to Liverpool on this trip is that we will be taking my Mom's ashes. She requested that her ashes be spread in the River Mersey. This request surprised me when she made it in her last months, by which time she was living at Holly Hill Nursing Home south of Towson, Baltimore County. The surprise was that she and I had spread my Dad's ashes in the sea off the coast of Bermuda, my Dad having come to regard that island as he expressed it as his "tropical Isle of Man" where he had been brought up, as well as in Wallasey "across the water [i.e., the Mersey]" from Liverpool.

A good friend who took Donna and on a Beatles tour of Liverpool, showing me some sites that I did not know about, is enquiring about what we need to do to deposit Mum's ashes in the Mersey. Another friend who now lives down south told me by email that he thought that the "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey" will stop in mid-river for anyone who wishes to spread the ashes of a departed loved one. I don't know whether that is true or not. I also don't know if there will be a fee to pay to the ferry people or to the local authority. Gerard, who lives in Liverpool, and is a fine local photographer, has said he will find out for me.

I have already written one poem about spreading my mother's ashes, in anticipation. It was called "Mersey, Mersey, Me". I should think the emotion of actually doing it may lead to more poetry. Donna and I should be in Liverpool beginning Friday, October 7.

I recall the scene in that wonderful motion picture "Last Orders" based on the novel of the same name by Graham Swift in which the funeral party spread Michael Caine's ashes in the sea off a pier in Margate, and the ashes blow back in their faces. I hope it doesn't happen to us. When we were in the U.K. in October 2009, it was blowing a bloody gale. Possibly this time the Mersey will be placid, the infernal British weather will cooperate. Am I asking for too much?
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  1. Unread
    ChrisGeorge's Avatar
    From a friend named Spike at Yo Liverpool:

    Scattering of Ashes - It is possible to arrange to scatter ashes on the River Mersey, courtesy of Mersey Ferries. They can be contacted on (0151) 330 1482 to arrange a date and time. Mersey Ferries do not charge for the service but you and your party do have to pay the normal fare.

    The Captain of the ferry usually stops the ferry upriver depending on the tide and wind thus allowing a short time for prayer and remembrance before committing the ashes to the Mersey.

    If you wish a chaplain from the Mersey Mission or Stella Maris to accompany you, they can be contacted on (0151) 920 3253 [This item courtesy of Peter Devlin, Stella Maris].
    Posted 09-14-2011 at 12:58 PM by ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
  2. Unread
    Catherine Chandler's Avatar
    I wish you well on your journey.
    Posted 09-15-2011 at 12:11 PM by Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
  3. Unread
    ChrisGeorge's Avatar
    Thanks, Cathy.

    Posted 09-22-2011 at 09:59 AM by ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline

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