I attended my first memorial paddle out today.
A friend’s husband passed away last weekend. Before they moved out of the area a few years ago he had been active in the city council and served as mayor. He did a lot of things for our town.
He was also an avid surfer so the surfing community wanted to gather to say goodbye to him. The local surfing club that he belonged to organized the paddle out. They had an altar on the beach with some flowers and some pictures of him, and a table with food and drink. There had been only a week to get the word out but a lot of his surfer friends were there and townspeople and former council members and other people who had worked with him in the city. Many of them had very moving words to say at the memorial.
Then the surfers paddled out and formed a circle holding hands and exchanged stories of him. Then they put the flowers and leis in the water. Everyone in the circle tossed water in the air as per tradition. I think paddle outs are a cool tradition. I’ve only seen them done on TV. A very spiritual moment. Those who didn’t go out in the water stayed on the shore to watch.
It was a very lovely and beautiful memorial. Young and old were there to pay their respects. It was nice seeing my friend and her boys but I wish it had been under happier circumstances.
R.I.P. JV. Aloha.