This is the story of the end of Johnny Botha's life. I write it imagining it may help take Johnny's bones home but is that idea the prompting of his spirit or of my conscience? And what might his family wish - if those remembering him are still alive? Like much about Johnny, the reasons for his estrangement from his family, and their whereabouts, remain unknown to me. "Ashes," the keeper of the Clare crematorium had said, when asking whether I wanted Johnny's. But the shapes and weight of the bag's contents confounded my expectations. These were neither feathery nor lightweight but sizeable, dense objects: unmistakably human bones.