Eric and I were never really traditionalist. We always marched to a different drum. Did things that people thought were nuts. So of course his cremation ceremony had to different, and it was. I'm so happy to have worked with Anne Marie from Funeralquest.nl
She is amazing and made Eric's transition easy and painless.
We decided on something unique, no coffin, we didn't want them. We actually put that in our will and trust. No 'Service" we want to celebrate. No burial, we wanted cremation. When I spoke to Anne Marie I provided those parameters and she came up with something so unique, so us, so out of the ordinary that it made sense. I decided to wrap Eric in a shroud, of his favorite color of course, and we'd put him in a opbaarplanken covered with flowers. Then we'd go to Cemetery Zorgvlied and walk him to the crematorium: https://zorgvlied.amstelveen.nl I loved it from the start, very non US tradition and just us, out of the ordinary. We started at the dock where there was a boat to pick us up. Anne Marie came separately with Eric in a black Mercedes Benz and then we put him on the boat, added flowers, prayed and went on our way.
It was such a beautiful day. Eric has been giving us beautiful weather in Amsterdam since his sisters arrived and he transitioned. Gorgeous, unusual weather for Amsterdam this time of year. It's usually cloudy and rainy. But we've been having amazing blue skies and sunshine. Thanks for shining down on us Eric.
Once he arrived at the dock we had to head to Zorgvlied. We had a beautiful canal ride, for about an hour, through Amsterdam with the warm breeze and sunshine on our faces. And I know Eric enjoyed the ride as well. We played a mix of his favorite jazz artist from Miles, Shirley Horn to Kurt Elling and Esperanza Spalding. When Miles Davis was on, "Summer Time", the captain of the boat starting whistling to the tunes. He told us that we had the coolest music, which I commented "That's my husband Eric". Once we arrive at Cemetery Zorgvlied, we had to take Eric off the boat and put him on a rolling table to escort him to the crematorium. Cemetery Zorgvlied was a beautiful park like location that had tree lined paths, of mature trees and flowers. I say again it was absolutely beautiful. Once we arrived at the crematorium, we placed Eric at the door, not of the oven, thank God. We all said a few words. I read 1Corinthians 13, the love chapter. That was read at our wedding by the pastor of my church as a youth, Anthony Seaton. It just brought us full circle from when we were married to Eric's transition.
Now, we're planning another celebration on our wedding anniversary, September 17, 2021. We are doing a dinner cruise on the canals and then I will release some ashes with some flowers for Eric. We invited some friend we met here in Amsterdam to join us in the celebration. I've added some video of his cremation journey below, enjoy