The Baby and the Sea

I was helping to bury a baby at sea.

He had died before his birth.

He was large enough though, to require a cremation for the remains.

I went with my client to the ocean with her family.

We all walked down through the sand to a spot that they had all frequented together.

She had a son who came with us, he was four years old.

I asked him to come over to me,

I asked him if he could help us with our task today.  He said yes he could.

I asked him if he could help up send his brother’s spirit back to freedom through the ocean.

He was happy to help.

We went to the shore where the waves were breaking.

And took a moment.

a wave rose and crested on the shore, we placed the ashes into the foam, I thought immediately of the little mermaid ( the REAL one, not the disney movie, the one where she died and was turned to sea foam, I watched it as a child.)

As the wave came up we all looked down and placed the child upon it, like setting a leaf afloat,

and watched the wave pull the little leafling into the sea.

As we watched it go, as soon as our eyes met the ocean in front of us,


right there,

maybe three feet away from us,

were two black round eyes staring directly into ours.

A seal had come.


A grey seal.  A sentinel.

No one could breath, even the child.

We all stared into the eyes of the seal, as the seal stared at us for what felt like an eternity.

Finally we all began to laugh, and simultaneously understood, the seal was there to help us understand, the spirit of the child would be reabsorbed.

As we walked back along the beach, the seal followed us, the whole way.  Watching us.  There were many other people on the beach that day, but the seal had no interest in them.   As we went back up towards the car, the seal headed back out to sea.

My client told me, a year later,

She went to the sea, on the anniversary,

to the spot.

And sat.

Up popped the seal.

To say hello.