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My father died on July 12, 2015 suddenly in his favourite store Holt & Renfrew on Sherbrooke street West in Montreal, it was all very quick and sudden, he was 85 years old. My mother had died two years prior to him and he had predicted that he would follow her two years later.

In the meantime he had been quietly looking into funeral arrangements for himself and was shocked and scandalized at the prices for a simple funeral. He thought the whole thing awful and a money grab, his idea was that once you are dead what do you care what a casket looks like or for flower arrangements or even all the other trappings. So he knew quite a few doctors at the Medical Faculty of McGill University and had arranged medical conferences for them and their colleagues in the hotel he managed. In the last ten years of his life he had become a regular at the Emergency room of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and the doctors knew him well.  My Dad decided that he would give his body to medical science. He filled out all the paper work and spoke to the Faculty Director and his own doctor about what would happen once he crossed over to the other side. He had also told us of his wishes and made them quite clear to us, there was no changing them.

Us kids had decided to respect both our mother and our father’s wishes and went along.

In the last few days, Medical Faculty at McGill contacted us to say that they no longer needed the remains and that a special service would be held in June to commemorate him and those who had given their bodies to science. The Faculty does this every year and they bury the remains in their cemetery on the Mount Royal. We requested his ashes be returned to us, our father wanted to be buried at sea.

Dad at 8000.jpg

Dad in Greece with the Aegean Sea behind him.

Luckily all three of us live by the seashore so it will be easy to arrange.