From the pier the waves looked like fluttering sheets of dark silk as they floated towards the beach. Neither the sun nor the ocean breeze had risen yet.
A small circle formed; there were quiet murmurings that ended with a hushed “amen”. Out of the backpack came white paper tubes adorned with white flowers. They each took one, then tipped the contents of the tubes into the water. First, a rushing sound, then quiet splashes into the ocean below.
The sky began to glow peach and pink with the rising sun. The ashes floated up from the water with the ease of a flower blooming, each petal stretching out to welcome the sunshine. The thousands of bits of dust dissolved into the morning light.
From the pier six hours later the turquoise waves carried hundreds of thousands of small fish. Their scales caught the light of the sun and made the water look like it was covered in glitter. Occasionally the giant ball of fish would dart abruptly in one direction; it was a living organism, a creature that shifted and swirled right underneath the lurching waves.
The thousands of bits of dust had dissolved into the hundreds of thousands of small fish. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.