My Father’s Passing


My father is inside this piece of ham radio equipment.

My dad died last week. I’ve been wrestling with whether I should write anything about it, and if so, how deep I should get into our relationship. As you can perhaps tell from the photo, I’ve opted for quirkiness over soul-bearing.

My father lived a good long life, made longer because he took care of himself. His body continued to function even when his brain didn’t work so well. He was father to four children and grandfather to six. He recently got to see his first great-grandchild, but I don’t think it really registered.

In addition to his passions for stamp collecting, coin collecting, listening to classical music, and jogging, was my father’s passion for ham radio (amateur radio). He contacted people all over the world with the radio he made by himself. My childhood home was notable in the neighborhood for the tall radio antenna in the back yard.

My father wanted to be cremated. When my family was at the cremation society office talking about details, the topic of an urn for our father’s ashes came up. One of my brothers had the idea of using a piece of our dad’s ham radio equipment as a container instead.

It might seem weird, but we all agreed immediately to this unusual container. And I’m sure my dad would approve too, if he knew.

10 thoughts on “My Father’s Passing

  1. Oh, I am so sorry for the loss of your father, but I am glad that you shared. It seems very appropriate to utilize something that represented him for his ashes. Very creative! You were fortunate to have him for so long. Not need for soul-bearing.

  2. Marie: Not strange or weird at all but utterly fitting. Maybe the only other thing that would have encapsulated the Howard I knew would have been putting his remains in an old running shoe. RIP, Patriarch.
    Mark Munger

    • Thank you Mark. We gave dad a good send-off today. Several people from the old neighborhood attended (Piedmonsters) and it was really fun to see them, as far as funerals go! You are right about the shoe. 🙂

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