‘This bottle contains the ashes of my son.’ Bottle with letter and ashes washes up on Florida shore

Many things wash up on Florida shores — seaweed, trash, shells, sea life and sometimes a brick of cocaine.

But one beach goer found something more sincere and curious.

A bottle containing a letter, $4 and a man’s vestiges.

“This bottle contains the ashes of my son, Brian, who suddenly and unpredictably passed on March 9, 2019. I’m sending him on one last adventure,” read the first line of the letter.

The letter in the glass bottle had contained two messages, one from Brian’s mom and another from his
daughter. WALTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

The bottle was reported to Walton County Sheriff’s Office as found property. Inside was a small bag containing ashes and four $1 bills. According to the letter children had sent 39-year-old Brian on his journey from Destin on August 1, only a few miles away from South Walton beach.

When Sergeant Paula Pendleton responded to the call and opened the glass bottle, she charily unfolded the note and began to read it.

The letter contained two messages, one from Brian’s mom and one more from his daughter.

“Hi, my name is Peyton,” was written in the second note on the wrinkled page. “I am Brian’s daughter. When my father passed, I was 14years old. It has struck our whole family beautiful hard and, so far, it has been a very hard road. But, like my granny said, he loved to be free. So, that’s exactly what we are doing.”

Sergeant Pendleton would later agree, it was fortuitous the message found her.

“Who would have known when it washed up on our shores it would have gotten to me?” Pendleton asked in a sheriff’s office release.

Pendleton is no stranger to loss: Her husband died suddenly in April 2018. He was 50.

“He died with me at home,” said Pendleton. “It was all very sudden.”

At the bottom of the letter it read, “If you find it, please call or text me and let me know, then sympathetically set him free once again.”

Scrolled in ink under the messages from Brian’s mother and daughter were emails and phone numbers to contact the family.

When Pendleton had a break in calls for service, she reached out to the family

“I am putting the note back into the bottle with Brian’s ashes and delivering it to a friend who is a charter boat captain,” she wrote in a text. “He has offered to bring Brian way out into the Gulf so he can continue his adventure. But, before that, I want you to know he got to do a ride-a-long with a deputy before drifting out once again.”

Brian was once again set free into the Gulf on Friday.

Brian’s family has created a Facebook group, Brian’s Journey, to chronicle his travels and remember him.

Over 3,000 people from all over the world sharing their own stories of lost family members and offer kind words.

WCSO DEPUTY FINDS MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE“This bottle contains the ashes of my son, Brian, who suddenly and unexpectedly…

Posted by Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. on Thursday, September 5, 2019

In a related string of events, Hurricane Dorian has been causing strange debris to wash up on shores across the east coast. One those debris found in Georgia was a bottle of human ashes with a note tucked inside reading:

“Please don’t open me, my ashes are on a journey,” the note read. “I started at Cumberland Island, so if you see me ashore, please snap a picture, email it & throw me back so I can travel some more.”

It was signed by Nancy Grace Swanson. Just like in Brian’s case, the people who found the ashes will be having someone with a boat take the woman’s ashes out to sea.

Look at this awesome find that Hurricane Dorian washed up! Message (ashes) in a bottle — Sending Nancy back on her way. Safe travels ✨Retrieval Cred 🌊: Chelsea Alyssa

Posted by Sadie Nazworth on Wednesday, September 4, 2019