A Final Goodbye to Nyel

Jun 28, 2023 | 13 comments

Gathering at the Cemetery

We gathered at the cemetery today to wish Nyel our final farewell — just a few of us — Charlie and Marta, of course.  Tucker and Carol who were with me in the immediate hours after Nyel died June 8, 2022.  And Miki and Cate, our long-time friends who spent the difficult hours a few days later going through his clothes and helping me decide — Good Will, Peninsula Players, or a keepsake for one of his friends or farmily.

Sydney says “Goodbye.”

All this time, Nyel’s ashes have been waiting in the Ginger Jar just as my father’s did in 1992 and my mother’s in 2009.  I guess it’s now a family tradition and I may well be next,

“Who will talk to me Who will answer me…” From “The Owl’s Lullaby”

Each of us placed a handful or two of ashes in the hole Tucker had dug in front of our stone and said a few words of farewell.  Cate, (bless her!) brought her guitar and sang “The Owl’s Lullaby” with Marta and me joining in as we could.

The “ceremony” was mostly solemn, yet poignantly upbeat.  Nyel would have approved.  And I think he’d have loved the tea and goodies we had at the house afterwards, as well.  Will this “closure” provide some respite from grief?  No, of course not.  Will I still talk to him, seek his advice, follow what I know would be his example?  I hope so.

Nyel LeRoy Stevens will always be the best part of me.  How lucky I am!

 

13 Comments

  1. Hillary Trusty

    It’s never easy, but what a beautiful way you said farewell.
    Hope you are doing okay in the day to day.
    It’s strange, the time after they are gone, everything gets measured from the last something or other.

    Sending Love & Hugs ??

    Reply
    • sydney

      Thank you Hillary! The other strange thing is that although we have said “goodbye” and feel some sort of contentment, there is never “closure.” I think I’m actually happy about that…
      Love, Sydney

      Reply
    • sydney

      Those hugs are MUCH appreciated, Caroline! Thank you!
      Sydney

      Reply
  2. Marion

    Sydney,
    What a wonderful and good way to say your final goodbye to Nyel! I know he meant the world to you in about every way. A gentle giant of a man!

    Reply
    • sydney

      Thank you Larry and Marion! It was a lovely “goodbye” but I doubt that there will ever be “closure.” And for that, I am glad.
      Love, Sydney

      Reply
  3. Robert Gwinn

    Dear Cousin Sydney,
    Thank you for sharing this “Final Goodbye to Nyel”. What a wonderful way to remember and say goodbye.
    Love,
    Cousin Bob

    Reply
    • sydney

      Thank you, Cousin Bob!
      Sydney

      Reply
  4. Isabelle Le Corguillé

    Bonjour Sydney,
    I think this was a lovely farewell party. Although Neil isn’t with you physically, you still have a wonderful bond that allows you to continue to share your everyday life with him. This is rare and previous.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Thank you, Isabelle! I am so delighted and touched by your message — for all sorts of reasons. Most important, of course, is that we seem to have a bond that transcends time and place, though we have yet to meet! Maybe this will be the year…
      Sydney

      Reply
  5. Tom & Betty Kennedy

    How beautiful this tribute is for Noel! We know you miss him a lot & hope that you feel his presence as you go on with life as he would want you to. Our prayers for you.??

    Reply
  6. Betty Kennedy

    My apologize for not checking “spellcheck” on its idea of how Nyel is spelled.

    Reply
    • sydney

      No worries! His name was always a problem — how to pronounce it, how to spell it, even how to remember it. He was used to all the possibilities and so, of course, am I!
      Sydney

      Reply

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