Man Who Died Lonely Death Has Final Wish Fulfilled
An elderly Sydney man forgotten by the world has had his dying wish fulfilled.
The 73-year-old man, who can't be named for privacy reasons, lived and died alone in his apartment in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
He had no family and no known friends to check-in on him, which meant his death went unnoticed for weeks.
Very little was known about this man. There was no knowledge of his life at all, no perception of who he was, and no one for funeral directors to talk to.
What they did find, however, was a few simple words written in a will explaining exactly where he wanted his ashes scattered -- in the ocean.
So, last Thursday, Picaluna Funeral Directors' Greg Inglis and Elizabeth Trevan grabbed the man's ashes and their surfboards and paddled out into the ocean at Coogee to say goodbye.
“It was a very powerful moment," Trevan said after scattering the man's ashes into the water.
"We felt very small, watching the waves pounding the rocks, surrounded by the force of nature. But it also felt very sacred and intimate.
"I wanted to say some words... to give gratitude for his life and to honour and respect the fondness he had for the ocean”.
Inglis said he was "desperately sad" for the man and hoped this final act "gave some meaning to his life".
He told 10 daily that without that final will, the man's ashes would have just been disposed of.
"His life wouldn't mean anything, it would be like he didn't exist.
"It's a sad story that has a message for everyone," Inglis said.
Firstly, he stressed the importance of writing a will.
“Even a few simple words about your wishes can make an enormous difference,” he said.
Secondly, he said that this man's story was a reminder for each of us to get to know our neighbours and others around us, particularly if they're elderly.
"For me, I live in a 12-unit apartment block and I know four of my neighbours, so it really rang true," he told 10 daily.
"It’s a reminder of how easy it is to become isolated, despite being surrounded by people. We need to start getting to know each other and bring back that sense of community".