Ashes in NYC

March 29th, 2012

It was a cold and windy morning in downtown NYC as Camille and The SC gathered for brunch with friends and celebrated Nelson’s life with stories, laughter, tears and mutual support.  I wore his wedding ring on a silver chain around my neck.  We were enveloped in black with a splash of vibrant color to represent a life well lived.  I had neglected to bring gloves from my extensive collection, which left my hands exposed to the chill of the day.  Nelson would have been amused that I had forgotten an accessory!

We then traveled to Washington Square Park where he loved to sit and ‘people watch.’  Always the astute observer!  He enjoyed the diversity, the chess players and the beauty of the space.  The SC read from a card which had been given to him on our first anniversary.  We proceeded to spread his ashes in the area where he had spent time talking about life with his good friend of many years, a musician who performed at the memorial service following his death and who took these photos.

Photos by Phil

We then took the train to the Upper West Side to the location of several hotels where we had stayed over the 12 years that Camille had lived in NYC.  He was know to sit on the bench in the median on Broadway, and observe the activities of the day.  We spread his ashes and I again read from a card that expressed a sweet moment from the past.  The ritual was complete.  Nelson’s ashes rest in peace in places that he loved.

The remainder of the day unfolded in slow motion as Camille and The SC walked familiar streets, spent time with friends, and toasted Nelson with a glass of wine (with ungloved hand) in a restaurant that he had enjoyed. Nelson’s NYC memorial service was complete and we felt a sense of tranquility and release that we had dedicated our trip to this purpose.

20 Responses to “Ashes in NYC”

  1. Jean

    This was a journey of love, taken with great beauty and courage. May we all rest in such peace.

  2. Vix

    What a beautiful send off for Nelson. Your outfits are wonderful with the pop of colour. He would have been so very proud of his courageous ladies. xxx


    I have just seen you in Advaced style. Magnificent, my dear Judith.


    It is difficult to talk about death at the moment, fter my nephew. I have just put it at the back of my mind while I deal with the knee operation recovering.
    Much love.

  5. risa

    Hi Judith! I first learned about you from Debra Rapoport who gushed and gushed. I was super excited to learn about someone like you living in Denver! I’m a NY transport and miss seeing colorful stylish ladies on the subway and the streets every day. Iy’s not the same people-watching in Denver, although it doesn’t mean I still don’t do it!
    I’m in my mid-30s and just got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and now I feel a special need to express myself through style and color. In honor of Debra, I went and got a turquoise pedicure and paired it today with some neon pink. Maybe if I can make my body smile more it will help the pain?
    Thanks for inspiring…I’m looking out for you around town. 🙂

  6. Pam @over50feeling40

    After knowing Nelson through your blog, I can see him sitting in the park with you beside him clothed in some majestic wonder! I can see you guys speaking about the people going by and enjoying all the diverse lives about! Just the little bit I know tells me that this was a perfect place to take him and that his spirit will be felt there though many will not realize it!

    I did not get a chance to tell you in the last post just how incredibly gorgeous you look in that photo…the colors are so vibrant and alive!

  7. Julie

    I am a first time visitor to your blog and the sentiments expressed are so on. Nelson was a lucky man. Your blog will be transformed from a coping and healing project to a wonderful testament to a very special man. You have elevated “stye” to a new and loftier place!

  8. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    How brave and loving you two are! I am sure Nelson was there with you and was so honored by your loving gestures.

  9. Diane

    I am also widowed, and I still have my husband’s ashes on my bedroom dresser. I am still figuring out the perfect place to scatter his ashes. It will come, I know. What a great place you have found to scattered Nelson’s ashes. Good for you!

  10. Ariane lasalle

    Hi Judith!

    I have missed some posts!
    You are looking lovely and lively in Mexico
    Such vibrant and full of life colors you are wearing despite all you went trough since the death of your dear husband. One thing i would like to say to you , he would be proud of you, he must be proud of you! Keeping his memory alive in such a colorful way. You are a great example Judith of what life should be and he must be proud to see you live your life.

    Lots of love

    Ariane xxx

  11. Terri

    I had not quite known about this New York chapter in your lives, but what a thoughtful way to see him off. I love the photos in which you and Camille almost appear as one.

  12. Rhodesian Ridgeback

    NYC is well maintained thanks to you and your loved ones.

  13. Sabrina

    beautiful blog!!!

  14. Melanie

    I like how you just show torsos in your photos – like the trip was too spiritual and Important to crowd with faces. I get the impression there was a big body-rippling sigh of contentment(?) at the end. Thanks for sharing some of this journey. I am moved.

  15. Lines of Beauty

    Two like minded-women are we.

    I have found a gem.

  16. Shelley

    It has been such a physically and emotionally challenging year for you, I am glad you were able to make this trip, which sounds so bittersweet. What a beautiful way for Nelson to make one more trip to a city he obviously loved, with the women he adored.

  17. Susan Tiner

    And now I will think of Nelson the next time I am at Washington Square park or see a median bench on Broadway. What a beautiful gesture, returning part of him to a city he loved.

  18. Sara D.

    Many hugs to you and positive vibes.

  19. Lynn Schriner

    I am new to your site, saw that you commented on a site that featured me, your beautiful thoughts and feelings about a beloved Nelson who so impacted your life that time stood still for you. I wrap my prayers around you as you find your way thru the loss. God Bless you

  20. Debbi

    Oh Judith, this post brought tears to my eyes. You write so beautifully of such a deeply personal moment of your life. How lovely that you did this for Nelson. It is so lovely that he will become a part of the place he so loved.

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