The shifting tides can bring a variety of items to the shore. While seaweed, trash, and shells are the most common discoveries, one beachgoer happened upon something a bit unusual: a bottle with two messages, $4, and a small bag that contained the ashes of a man that one of the letter writers identified as her son.
“This bottle contains the ashes of my son, Brian, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed on March 9, 2019,” said one of the messages, according to a report by MSN. “I’m sending him on one last adventure.”
The bottle was discovered in South Walton, Florida. When the beachgoer found it, they reported it to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Paula Pendleton responded to the call about the bottle. When she arrived, she opened it carefully and unfolded the letter. One of the notes was from Brian’s mother while the other was written by his daughter.
“Hi, my name is Peyton,” said the second message. “I am Brian’s daughter.
“When my father passed, I was 14years old,” she continued. “It has struck our whole family pretty 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.”
At the bottom of the letter was a simple request: “If you find [the bottle], please call or text me and let me know, then kindly set him free once again.”
Underneath the messages were email addresses and phone numbers for Brian’s family.
During a break, Pendleton 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,” wrote Pendleton in a text message. “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.”
On Friday, the bottle was set free in the Gulf.
A Facebook group – called Brian’s Journey – was created by Brian’s family to track his travels. People from across the globe have offered kind words to the family and even shared their stories of loss.