They Say the First Time is the Greatest: Geocaching, Cremation, and LOST
In honor of Geocaching's 10th anniversary, I thought I'd share my little 'cacheing story. I've told it many times, but didn't post it anywhere except on Geocaching.com's forums.
My son and I just started 'caching little over a week ago, and it was on our very first hunt that we stumbled upon something unusual. I'll just paste my log entries here:
March 11 by ebilflindas (13 found)Looked for this one with my son. This was our first time out, and I didn't really know what we were looking for. We'll give it another go this weekend, but I wonder if something might've happened to it with some of the weather we had recently. Just wondering.Funny thing, my son spotted a brown, plastic box down in the low-tide muck. He fetched it, and what was inside was a plastic bag secured with a twist-tie. I thought we might be in luck, but when I undid the tie, a bunch of sand poured out of the bag.
At this point, a lot of people I've told this story to already know where I'm going with it...
March 16 by ebilflindas (13 found)This [is] actually the 3rd time I've been to this location, only this time I did some CITO [Cache-In, Trash-Out], figuring that if I still didn't find the cache, I'd at least leave the spot a little better than I found it. Well, still no love, cache-wise, but I did make a bit of a grim discovery, which solved what was a mystery to me. As I mentioned in my previous log, my son found found a brown, plastic box, about the size of a small cereal box, inside which was a plastic bag filled with what appeared to be sand and bits of 'shell'. As I continued my search today, I came across this same box and the pile of odd looking sand drying in the sun. Alongside the pile was a weathered piece of paper, which had been too soggy to unfold when we first found it, but was now dry enough to carefully peel open.It was a crematory memorial record from a cemetery in Detroit; and it wasn't a bag of sand that we poured out and sifted through.
So now, what was a little mystery has become a bigger one.What's funny/creepy/weird is that when we first found it, I joked with my son that we found Jacob's ashes, from the show LOST. Hmm.I think I'm done with this cache. We might not have found it, but we did find *something*.
I'm not sure if I want to try to track down and contact the family, but it does have the ring of a This American Life story.
The more I've thought about it, the more I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to try to find any of the deceased's relations. But that doesn't mean there isn't a story in there that would be worthy of Ira Glass's introduction. It does mean that I may have to do some digging into my own thoughts and feelings about life, death, and family, but you don't find gems (or caches) without getting a little dirty, right?