Ashes (and chimes – let them ring!)

Wind-chimes now hanging in the garden at the Church of the Trinity

Thinking about it, Good Friday was the perfect day for the last act in the series of events that put to rest marking the passing of my brother from time into eternity.

It’s been almost a month since Geoff died, and eight of his most immediate family gathered to scatter the ashes in the memorial garden at the church where he made his spiritual home.

NOT FROM AROUND HERE: Hannah (my niece) asked me to say a few words, and all I did was to share a selection of Jesus sound-bites from the Last Supper, and remind us that Jesus was forever making the following observation: “But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Or, my paraphrase, “I’m not from around here, you know.”

Hudson, Andrew, Hannah and Haley Roberts; me; David and Grace Maul

What we value, so often is not what God values. What we worry about, much of the time is not even on God’s radar. What we devote too much of our time and energy and resources to, typically leads us in directions other than the priorities of God.

QUESTIONS: So I asked the following question: “To remember Geoff, and understanding what made him such a unique person, what characteristic would you like to keep by incorporating it into the way you live from now on?”

Hannah letting the ashes go...

Answers included:

  • Geoff’s sense of adventure –
  • His 1,000 mega-watt smile –
  • His sense of optimism and “can do,” –
  • His generosity –
  • His commitment to life-long learning –
  • His open heart –
  • His unconditional acceptance of others –
  • Hudson, the youngest grandchild, said, “”Pop-pop’s coloring.”

That’s all. Just a simple affirmation of what remained as we let the ashes disperse into the air, the woods, the flowers… eternity.

At lunch after. Hannah, Haley, Hudson, Rebekah

Then we gathered around the wind-chimes and prayed. And the chimes made such a loud noise, in the beautiful spring breeze, that I started to try to muffle them. But then I realized I may have done that too often over the past 58 years….

Let them ring!

Family The Life-Charged Life The Story

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. I started to try to muffle them. But then I realized I may have done that too often over the past 58 years….

    Touche! Poignant reminder for us all.


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