I never wanted to have a grave, maybe because, in my family, people don't visit graves or go to cemetaries. Every one of the relatives I knew was cremated, so that's where my thoughts tend. Katie wanted to be cremated, and to have her ashes scattered in Puget Sound. That's what I want, too, when my time comes. However, I have always liked the idea of having a bench by a beach, instead of a grave, with a plaque on it that says something nice, in memory of me. People could have a rest, and sit and admire the view of the water, as I love to do. I've told Gregg this for years, and I remind him of it periodically, especially when we see one in a place that I like.
I am one of those people about whom the saying was probably written, "She has saltwater in her veins." I just love the beach. It is where I am the happiest, and where I often feel the closest connection to God. My life's dream was to live by the saltwater, near where my family's cabin was, and to raise my children at the beach, with the freedom and the casual lifestyle that naturally creates. I am so thankful that I got to have that dream. If you saw Katie's slideshow at her Celebration of Life, you may have noticed that most of the photos have a body of water or a beach somewhere in them. So it just seemed natural to give her a memorial bench by the water, in the town where her great-grandparents homesteaded, her grandparents and her father (and many other relatives) grew up and went to school, and where she is known and remembered. I hope, if you live nearby, you will go and have a look, or sit for a while. It is lovely.