I am 6 months into my grief journey, abut it feels like 1 million years ago since I saw my Rick's handsome face. How can it only be 6 months!!! There must be some sort of time warp going on because 6 months and 1 million years are now one in the same. I see other people having a life, socializing with friends, holding hands, marveling at a sunset, and I think- We used to do that- WE had a life together. No I have no life. I am a contradiction in terms: I am alive but dead at the same time.
I had a co-worker ask me the other day 'what are you going to do with Rick's ashes?' I just blinked at him, not comprehending what his question was. Then I started over-analyzing it, as I seem to do these days. Maybe he wanted to know if I would be sending his ashes back to the UK, or if I'd planned on sprinkling them on some mountain top, or if, as my wicked mind was thinking, 'what do you think I'm going to do with them.....throw them out???'
Which brings me to this: my Rick was a Brit, and after he passed, I contacted his daughter and other family members in the UK to see if they wanted to have some of his ashes flown to them. Thankfully, they didn't, but I would have respected and honored their wishes, and would have had the funeral home divide up his cremains. However, my Rick wanted to stay on our 'little acre of heaven'.
Of course we all want to honor our loved one's wishes. But THEY had NO idea of the horrid, gut twisting, heart-wrenching pain that we all were left with when they departed. Even someone on death's door has no idea of the pain we survivors will be handed. NO ONE knows what this crushing heartache actually is like unless you have gone through this hell. It's all well and fine to have everything set up in your trust or will, but that's done while one is alive, and having no idea of what the survivor will have to face. Yes, we all suffered through their pain with them, or suffered the shock of an accidental death, but the fact is, many of us need to have something tangible of their life on this earth. I have my Rick's beautiful urn front and center when you come into our home, complete with two family photos, a forever candle and live orchids. I find it very comforting knowing that when I come in the door, My Honey is still there waiting for me, and I greet him daily when I come back from work. Yes, the two dogs get their pets first, but then it's 'Hiya Shoosie'! For me, I need to know that he's always there for me, and in fact, he's made himself know to me and other family members on a weekly basis.
I can't bring myself to ever scatter his ashes anywhere, even on our one acre. I can't lose him again.....not again.
Does anyone else have these feelings, or by not letting him go, is that something that may hold me back on my way to feeling "normal" again? Is it supposed to be like the Sting song ' If you love somebody, set them free' ? Am I being selfish?
And as a side note: I know that here in California, you must disclose that someone had died on the property or in the house. Does that mean that I must disclose that I have my husband's, mom's and brother's ashes in my home?
An update on the container for Ron's ashes- Dad told me that my brother is making the box from a cedar tree that fell down on the property in Myrtle Beach where my parents lived for 30 years. A kind neighbor cut it down for them and cut it into logs, and my brother eventually took the logs home. Wow. That really will be meaningful. I can't wait to get rid of the made-in-China plastic version!
That is SO awesome Athena53! What a treasure chest for Ron and yourself. I am so happy for you!
I haven't been able to scatter my Mark's ashes yet either. I have them in my home. Last fall, I lost our beloved dog Sam, I have his ashes on the same shelf with Mark's. When our other dog (Mark's sweet sheltie girl Gracie) goes, I'm going to do something with all of the ashes. I know where I want to scatter them but I also know that I'll probably hang on to some of them. Or at least I think I will. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong timeframe for this stuff. You have to do what feels right for you, when you're ready.
There was one place at the top of Ron's and my list when we discussed the places where I'd scatter his ashes: Edinburgh. He was of Scottish ancestry and we'd been to Scotland 3 or 4 times. The first visit, in 2001, we climbed Arthur's Seat, just at the edge of the Royal Mile. It's 250m elevation, but there are well-maintained paths to the top. I made the trip after lunch today- a bit taxing, but only an hour's climb. It's a very popular hike (some people RUN it every morning!) and when I got to the peak there were plenty of people there, but I quietly placed some of his ashes in an indentation in a rock at the top. My work here is done! I also bought some extraordinary whisky you cam't get at home (single cask, cask-strength, no additives) from our favorite shop and my first drink from on of those bottles will; be a toast to Ron. Now, wherever else I scatter his ashes, I know there are some where he really wanted them to be.
Your post gave me a smile as I'm in the middle of drafting a kilt pattern for my daughter; son doesn't want one. Boo! Bob-O was also of Scottish ancestry. They're powerful, our kids are fair like him. Blonde when born, but now brown hair like me & hazel eyes. Still don't know how that happened!
We took my husbands ashes (not all but most) to Scotland for the one year anniversary of losing him. It had been our favorite place to visit over the years. I invited both his brothers and their wives, my niece and her husband and my kids. We spent a week traveling from Edinburgh up to the Highlands where he loved to be. Ended the first week in Portree and took the Bealach na Ba road up to Applecross where I proved to the kids and myself that I could handle things (That is an amazing, and terrifying drive!) Went to Shieldaig where we took a long walk until it just felt like time to stop. We had a bottle of his favorite scotch and all had some. From there headed to his favorite place in the world where I needed to spend the actual 1 year anniversary date. I brought that bottle home and save it for times I know he would have wanted to share it, like our son's 21st birthday, and our daughters college graduation. That felt like the exact spot he would want to be. But, I also couldn't imagine being on the other side of the world from him, so have the rest here at home. I'm still not sure what I'll do, I've thought of taking them with me on my travels, not sure if thats right yet though.
What a wonderful story! We didn't get that far into Scotland on previous trips although we've been to the Orkneys. I'm heading to Paris next week and may drop some into the Seine if I can do it inconspicuously.
I'll never scatter all of Ron's ashes. My son knows that when my time comes, which I hope will be a long time form now he should mingle whatever is left of Ron's with mine and what he does with them is up to him.
I lost my Helen June 2017 and had intended scattering Helen ashes on her birthday January 2018. That did'nt happen. I decided last week that the time was now right and I would scatter them on Sunday. Made some excuse why I couldn't do it on Sunday, but, if the weather is good one day in the week I will make it happen. Monday and Tuesday I woke up hoping for foul weather but no!! sunshine. I woke this morning and guess what - more sunshine!!! I just felt so disappointed with this weather, but now realise that the time is not right. Although having read the posts I may take a little of Helen's ashes with me to Spain next month and scatter them on our favorite beach.
I'm at a low point these days, just short of two years since Stuart died. Having a friend tell me this morning, during a phone call, that "surely you know everybody loves you" just blew the gasket for me. Not the right kind of love.
Stuart's ashes are in the room that was, when he was here, my study; now I use both rooms and try to keep his study for business-stuff, my own for personal things and soulwork and anything that I believe might help.
He had a difficult relationship with his only sister, who condemned him for many of his lifestyle choices, including ME (I'm the Wicked Witch, responsible for corrupting her brother) but she now, out of guilt we suppose, tries to stay in touch and, most recently, asked what I had done/was planning to do with her brother's ashes. I replied that I was a long way from being able to take that decision. So I am.
I don't know what, if anything, would be "appropriate", I have no idea what I might want to feel,dealing with his ashes which are, obviously, not HIM. As long as I don't know, I do nothing. It's rather like the advice I used to give myself, pre-satnav/GPS, when driving and arriving at a cross-roads; if you don't know which way to turn, just carry on straight ahead.
Lately, in my life, there have been a couple of happenings that came out of nowhere, in my life - light-bulb moments that shocked me by their presence, the way it felt like someone had hit me over the head with a piece of four-by-two, saying "You need to - ". I acted, almost fearfully, on both these happenings, and they worked, they have helped me to move on a bit. So I expect there will be more; including, one day, the blow on the head that says "You need to do X with Stuart's ashes". Then I'll do it. Until then - I carry on straight ahead.
One of the beautiful things about this site is the realization there is no right or wrong way to grieve or to disperse ashes. So many individual ways that are simply "perfect"! And we get it and understand.
It's been over six years for me and my husband's ashes are in an urn, currently with me in my study. Three years ago I met a man who had been widowed twelve years and we've been together ever since day One. His wife's ashes are still with him. When we took a six-month cross country trip, we brought our mate's ashes with us. Hers sit above the driver's seat and my husband's are above the passenger seat. We like to tell our story and laugh that the four of us were seeing the sites together! Some people are appalled; some think it is a beautiful tribute. We both had been married for over 48 years and it is impossible to forget all that made us who are today. We do not care what others think. Keep or scatter or turn into jewelry or stepping stones -- it is totally up to you. At least, that's my opinion.
I love the idea of taking your previous mates' ashes with you! It's important that even in a new relationship you "make room" for your late partners- they don't just disappear from your stories. I've found it a blessing to have a bit of Ron's ashes with me on my major trips. It's not like having him there in human form, but it's something real and concrete that I can bring with me. I'd never been around human cremains till I brought Ron's home from the mortuary, but now they're just a normal part of the life cycle.
I am right now in Negril, Jamaica where today, on the fifth anniversary of his death, I put a biodegradable urn containing his ashes to rest near the Mid Shoals reef. We came to this place 18 times and he loved it here. i am not going to say it was easy and I have cried more in the last three days that I have been here than I did in the last three years. I have pushed down so much grieving because it is so painful. I know this was the right thing to do but it is hard. He loved the vast sky here and now his ashes lie beneath it.