Friday, August 5, 2011

Celebrating Nick, Part 2

When the mass was over, we quickly headed back to our room. Our friends Andre & Jean were staying on the Dutch side of the island in Simpson Bay so we invited them to just come back with us. Mind you this island is tiny but the traffic can make it a 45 minute drive from Grand Case to Simpson Bay!

I quickly put together snack plates for us and then we hit the beach for a dip. We eat a lot of cheese, bread and fruit for lunch!

We toweled off, covered up and headed for the dock to board the boats waiting for us to escort Nick to his final resting place. There were two boats: one was like a little taxi boat and had seats, the other was a fishing boat. We decided to get on the fishing boat so that the family and more of the older people could have the seats. I was so glad we did because it gave us a front row seat to the events at Creole Rock.

A view of the Beach Club on our way out.  Our room was on the top floor of the left building.

Creole Rock, up close and personal

After the boats arrived at the Rock and got situated closely together, Father Dempsey said the last blessing and then Michael took the ashes and jumped into the water with them!

Family members began to throw flowers into the sea and Michael slowly let go of the urn. As it disappeared to the bottom of the ocean people were yelling “Nick! Nicolai!” Then suddenly they all started jumping in and it became a joyous party in the sea!

Can you spot Mr. Helen?

Once everyone was back on board, we headed back to Grand Case where one of the biggest and best parties I’ve ever been to took place. Besides the opportunity to walk off the back deck and jump in the ocean, the family had hired a jet ski to pull a banana boat around the bay. So much fun! There was a huge amount of food – cooked by the local villagers and set up while we were at the Rock. There was a band, which is quite popular there “The Jolly Boys.” You can’t sit still when they are playing. I’m not kidding when I say we partied non-stop for the next 7 hours!

The Jolly Boys setting up

Great way to work off the food you ate!

That's Nick's fishing boat and Creole Rock on this cake

Nick's Guitar

When we were leaving I thanked Michael for including us and told him I wished he could be my end of life planner. It’s just the sort of celebration I would love to have. He told me that he hoped no one thought it was disrespectful to party the way we did because it was exactly what Nick had requested: "Take me home to Grand Case, put me in the sea, have a party."

I know it was a bodacious party because the next day at the Beach Club we were talking with another couple and they said they had passed by the house and asked if it was an open party and if they could come in because it seemed like the hot spot in town that afternoon.

Now, every time we see Creole Rock, or even see a photo of it, we will have great happy memories of a perfect day in celebration of a beloved friend.


  1. What a party! Yep, I'm with you - if I have to go, let me go out like that - with the people that I loved and who loved me sharing a nosh, a dip and a groove! Beautiful....

  2. Oh my goodness, there was just something about seeing everyone jump into the water with the urn that just choked me up. There is so much love in that moment, and in this entry, I am actually in tears. What an amazing tribute to your friend.

  3. Oh my gosh I'm so emotional at this moment. What a way to celebrate one's life. I'm crying because I would that we "cold" Dutch people would do this more instead of wearing black to a funeral and have a coffee/cake reception afterwards.

    This was so special for you and Mr. Helen to be a part of and I can totally understand you when you say this is how you would like to end your life. I'm all for that too.

  4. These 2 posts were just amazing. I can't think of a better way to remember your friend. I think it sounds like a great way to celebrate a life.

  5. Wow. I can't think of a better way to go and be remembered. What a wonderful tribute!!! And I'm so glad you and Mr Helen were there to be a part of it. And when you think of Nick it will be with less sadness. You'll always remember this beautiful tribute.

  6. I was going to write exactly what Kristen wrote...I felt the very same way!! What a wonderful moment...

    And I see Mr. Helen! Third from the left, facing the camera :-)

  7. What a beautiful way to celebrate a wonderful life lived!!!! So glad that you and Mr. Helen were there to be part of the celebration of Nick!! Thanks for sharing with us!!!

  8. I love that Nick's wishes were honored and respected as he wanted! It certainly is not disrespectful to party like that if it is what he wanted.

  9. Now THAT was a celebration of life! What a way to send off such a good friend. I'm so glad you and Mr. Helen got to participate (and how much do I love that he jumped in the ocean?!?) - just a lovely, memorable experience!

  10. I second Shelley's comment! So glad that you were included in such a special and emotional service.

    Hope you have a fabulous weekend Helen!

  11. What a wonderful way to celebrate someones life!

  12. Wow wow wow! What a great way to celebrate a really special person. Thanks so much for sharing this with us Helen!