Release the ashes of Michael (Mike) J. Anderson, Bainbridge Island teacher, to the skies
"Don't ever let me be buried," is what Mike Anderson of Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo and Bremerton, WA mentioned occasionally to his daughters throughout their young adult lives. Yet, Mike was buried anyway after he drowned, and his daughters' urgent alerts about his wishes were ignored.
September 7, 2019
Coach Michael J. Anderson was quietly cremated at the direction of another on the third day following his 9/7/2014 death. His ashes were put in an urn and, about two weeks later, buried in the ground on top of his mother's grave - on her chest area, a little to the right, as if makeshift. He doesn't have his own spot. And this is worth mentioning: he was very much his own person.
His young adult daughters, Kendra and Hanna Anderson, have wanted to find a way to release his buried ashes to the sky. (And if those ashes made their way to the skies above Mike's Wimbledon bucket-list destination, that would be OK too.)
This was Mike's longtime wish he expressed to his daughters during the 18 and 21 years he knew them. He would say, "don't let me be buried." It's as if he had a vision into his future.
His daughters, whom with he shared a deep bond, did not forget.
Those first couple of days after their dad drowned, then 18 and 21-year-old Hanna and Kendra both quite literally frantically and repeatedly tried to relay their dad's last wish. To no avail.
A response after he was cremated was eventually emailed to Kendra and Hanna that said Mike's end-of-life decisions had changed.
This is not true.
Furthermore, there are no plans for anyone to join Mike next to his grave, not then, not now. Only Anderson children can legally be buried in Mike's parents' personal plot, as regulated by cemetery rules and Washington state law.
Why was Mike buried against his wishes? We tried to answer that question, ourselves, by even researching religious guidelines. And we were able to rule out possible religion-related reasons.
And so our plea to free Mike's ashes goes public.
Our hope is to gather signatures to create awareness and reach people who might share this plea with others or advise us how to legally set Mike's ashes free. For Mike.