I’m in the process of getting ready to go walking up in Scotland with my wife’s brother to scatter some of her ashes in places she asked for. My wife and I loved walking up there, it was one of our first connections when we met. My wife had spent a lot of time in the Lakes walking and climbing and had a close friend who would take her on his Munro bagging trips. I grew up in a household where disappearing into the wilds with a tent was a summer holiday. It wasn’t until we went our first trip together that my wife really began to understand the possibilities, that you could just about camp anywhere you wanted, she was English so had a very different relationship with access to land than I had. The first night we wild camped she couldn’t believe we didn’t have to ask permission. She loved it and we started to regularly go off to remote places and walk and camp and enjoy everything that offers, freedom.

This morning I’ve been writing lists and going through gear trying to get everything I need and it’s been hard. I’m usually well organised for this, but I’ve been putting it off, telling myself I’ll get to it. Now I realise I’ve been avoiding it as it’s another space that my wife resides in, her ruck sack, her walking boots, her sleeping bag, our tent. Our tent, that was our tiny little home in a vast landscape so many times, it’s really brought it back to me, everything has changed.

But it’s something I have to work through, get back there, revisit those times, make new memories if I can. Seeing her gear has made me think that there must be somewhere I can give it to, that someone could get some use out of it. I think my wife would have really liked that, that someone could get the opportunity to have the experiences she had. I think it’s upsetting as I realise I’m getting close to letting part of her go, it doesn’t feel great, I knew it never would, but i do feel as if I’m ready. Just a small step, but a step anyway.

I guess what I’m anxious about is what might happen, what I might feel and how it might change me. I keep telling myself that I’m anticipating and just let it come, but it’s hard. Those places meant so much to us, we had such a connection there with the land and our place together in it. I worry that they might now be places of sadness rather than joy. The image of me scattering her ashes is front and centre in my mind and it feels right but so, so sad. But I have to go into this space, ebb and flow, ebb and flow.


I was doing the dishes after writing this and realised I had woken up with this song in my head “Wild Mountain Thyme”. It’s been knocking at the door for the last week or so, but today it was just there, a soundtrack to my morning. Having written about the above and having put myself in this space I remembered that it was always in my head when we were getting ready to go to Scotland, it was her song from me, I would always sing the first couple of lines as she started the car and we got underway. It always made her smile. I’ve listened to it this morning and the tears just came so hard. But I’m back again, sad but happy, knowing it will be ok. I’ll build a bower, just a wee one and I’ll gather flowers and sing her off.

Wild Mountain Thyme


Yes, go for it, 6 months since my wife went, we holidayed in Greece for years, I went to Kefalonia with my son and granddaughter in July, we had been there years ago but I took care to go to a different area, where there were no reminders of my wife, there was no joy for me being back in Greece but the sadness was reduced for a while.
You are going back to the exact locations where you and your wife visited ,along with scattering her ashes I would guess that this will be a deeply emotional experience ,scattering a wifes ashes is a once in a lifetime event, I would want to record it somehow, photo or video of the locations so they could be revisited in the future.
Good luck.


Walan. I hope you get some comfort from your trip. Although everything feels like a kick in the stomach.


@Walan . You are such a positive influence in this site I am sure you will make this the best experience it could be with your memories.


Having been to Scotland many times (my previous husband was Scottish) and having holidayed there with my partner, I know how beautiful it is and also the idea of wild camping is great, we didn’t get to do that bit as he died. The experiences you had together sound idyllic, wild in the middle of no where.

This trip will be hard but if you’re ready then I’m sure she will love where you put her and will be pleased to roam free.

Only you will know when you’re ready to let your wife’s camping things go. They hold special meaning for you and like me with my partners bike, I want it and his stuff to go to someone who will use it and look after it and get the enjoyment he did from it. It’s not just a bike, it’s his bike and all that he achieved with it.

Have a great walk, enjoy some wonderful memories. She’ll be walking beside you I’m sure.


So I’ve managed to wrestle the tent into submission and get it up in the house to check it. Not easy, there were still bits and pieces of paper, dried out grass and mud from our last time away. And I was off again. But I’m through, I’ve got the tent up its still our home. Just sat in it for a while and let it all come back, might sleep in it tonight just to get used to it. We’ll see.

While i was sitting in the tent I realised that we got to do it, we went out there and did what we wanted, made it work, relied on each other and got to where we wanted to go. It’s why we always went back. It’s why I’m going back. It’s another part of her I need to fit, a part that fills the hole that she left.

thanks to all for your support, it’s just been one of those days. I’m going to give myself a bit of credit and say I think I’m getting better at identifying obstacles and having ways to get through, around or over them. And it’s a lot to do with all the people on here and getting the chance to just dump on you all. Many, many thanks x

@Ali29 it was idyllic, although it could also be standing in a peat bog, up to your knees in water, rain literally just hanging in the air, muggy, dreich, sweating, lost, frustrated and being eaten alive by midges. Such happy memories :rofl:


Well done for getting the tent up, major obstacle achieved. It probably sounds a good idea to sleep in it tonight.
I hope all goes well in Scotland.

And I’m back and it was everything that it had to be. We went off into Cairngorm and camped at my wife’s favourite spot, the first we ever pitched together at the start of our walking adventures. It was lovely to have her brother with me, we have always got on but are very different people, our interests don’t often overlap but he was really enthused about the location and the access, the freedom. The realisation that it is there and you can just go to it. He’s quite an adventurous bloke, but this was his first time walking with packs and camping along the way, and he really seemed to take to it. What I didn’t expect was being able to pass on tips and guidance that my wife had passed on to me. She was the more experienced walker when we met and although I knew about the places and the basics it was her that had the experience, the knowledge and wisdom. It was unexpected and really affirming to be able to pass that on to her brother, it was her teaching him through me. We both realised it and I think it’s brought us closer in understanding each other but more importantly understanding her, still benefiting from having known her.

We walked and camped and Talked of her and I told him tales of our adventures out there and why it was so important to her, to us. It all just developed naturally and felt right in a way I didn’t expect, I just went with it and looking back now I’m so glad I went back there, walked those paths, spoke of the times we had. On the last night we returned to her favourite spot. And the midges came and they were grim. We scattered her ashes in the dark, midge nets on, sipping whisky through the mesh. We poured her a dram to the ground, I sung her a song and we kissed her good night. My wife would have laughed and cried as we did. As I am now as I write this. But I can feel joy in those tears, more joy than sadness. I’m glad part of her is where she wanted to be, I have the GPS for where she is and I know people will go and visit her and be in a place she loved so much. Her brother wants to come with me as I go out and put her in the landscape that was so much a part of her. It will be nice that the three of us will be together.


Thank you for sharing your very poignant visit to the Cairngorm to scatter your wife’s ashes. I am pleased everything went so well.
We never know how we are going to feel, having such a responsibility to get it absolutely right. I think it is wonderful, all the thought and arranging you did, so pleased your wife’s brother was with you to share the special moments.
My husband had specific wishes for his ashes. Whilst close family were in the UK five weeks ago, we carried them out. It was a perfect, but very sad day. The beautiful place he requested is too far for me to often visit. I have photographs which I look at every morning, but he is forever in my heart wherever I am.

1 Like

My husband didn’t say what he wanted done with his ashes so I decided to have them interred in the woodland walk at the crematorium. Not done yet as the ground is too hard. I won’t feel he is truly at rest until it is.

So beautiful! Sounds amazing and I’m glad you had a positive experience. I’m glad you and her brother got on so well and you were able to teach him through your wife. I’m sure she would have been impressed.

1 Like

Thanks ALi, it was a good time well met, still decompressing and digesting. All of this seems to be turning into a very detailed learning process, Who knew

1 Like