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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

I received my husband's ashes yesterday...

I told a friend of mine that I'd gotten the call to come get them. She offered to come with me, but I felt strong enough at the time. I figured I'd go get him and come on back home. I received him along with a death certificate. It was horrible. I got him back to the car, put him in the front seat and cried. I actually talked to his ashes. "We're gonna go home, Ok?" He didn't say anything. I don't even remember the drive back. I guess that was that Widow's Fog kicking in again. I just remember closing the door and locking it behind me. I even had the mail too. I don't remember getting it. It's like I'm a robot doing the routine and not even thinking about it. He was hurt at work and was about to get disability. I got a call from them yesterday informing me that they knew he was the breadwinner, but he wasn't hurt long enough for me to receive anything. So last night, like every night. I'm online looking for work trying not to become homeless. It's been a struggle and I don't really go back out OTR without my John, but it looks like I might have to. This means I'd have to leave my kids for weeks or up to months at a time. They begged me not to go back out on the road. I told them I'd do my best. So now, along with the daily pain, I could possibly be homeless. Couldn't get any worse, right?

Well, this morning, I woke up and looked at the date. It's officially December. I was never so disappointed to see December in my life. John is back in November. I wanted to stay in November with him. He entered and exited this world in November and I wanted to be where ever he was. I'm in December alone. This sucks! I want my husband back.

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Comment by Branbran36 on December 4, 2016 at 6:29pm

You guys on this site are so supportive and understanding and make me feel so not weird.

LonelyinAZ, we used to drive through Tucson all the time either on our way to Phoenix or LA. We fell in love with Arizona. I'm sorry for your loss. The kids and I finally opened up the box with his ashes in it on Friday night. They all asked to hold them. They held them and cried just as I did. My oldest said, "It's just not the same, mommy."

chef (John)...Thanks for putting the comment about the notepad. I literally have a little notepad that I keep in my purse and do just as you did. I write down everything I need to do while I'm thinking about it and make sure to try to get it done. Sleep is still pretty much non existent. I'm lucky to get 4 to 5 hours a night. The paperwork thing is a nightmare also.

I really appreciate all the understanding and support that I get on this site.

Comment by chef (John) on December 3, 2016 at 10:43am


I see nothing wrong with talking to his ashes. I did the same thing with my wife's ashes, and I know others who have done this too.

I also "get" what you're saying about November/December, because I felt that way on New Year's Eve back in 2011.

As to the fog: It'll be there for a while. I bought a small pocket notepad and kept list of things to do daily for about a year. I definitely needed it for the first six months. There are many strange aspects to this: feeling several emotions simultaneously or in very rapid succession; having your sleep cycle disrupted (I didn't get on a "regular" sleep schedule for about eight weeks.); dealing with necessary paperwork; I'm sure others will chime in on this.

Allow yourself to grieve. Keep reading and posting. Believe it or not, that will help.

Comment by lonelyinaz on December 2, 2016 at 7:22pm

Hello Branbran and welcome here, you have found a special place "we all get it".  I can tell you that what you've described is pretty much normal for this truly very deep grief.  I also went alone to get my hubbys ashes.  They had put them in a private room with a rose in a vase.  They told me to stay as long as I wanted to.  I went in said "ok honey we are out of here" grabbed up the box stuck the rose in my purse, thanked them and was gone.  Put him on the seat of the truck next to me, got home and just lost it!!!!  Spent a couple hours trying to decide to wrap the box or open the thing and look inside. Jeeze, the stupid shit you think is something you should do!  So, I wrapped it up, then cried all over it and the paper was all wet, so I had to wrap it again for the Memorial Service.  Later, I purchased a nice cedar urn and had it monogramed, etc.  He stays with me, and travels with me when I'm gone in the summer time.  I just don't feel like I want to leave him in Tucson when I'm away.  It's whatever we all want to do, it's ok he was my Husband and it works for me.  As far as you going OTR, that is going to be rough, and you already know that!  I'm sorry that you have to go through this stress, it's so hard to take grief in waves (so as not to consume your entire soul), but to leave the children, you all need each other so much.  Take care, get some support if possible.  Hugs, and more hugs.

Comment by vintage56(barb) on December 1, 2016 at 1:52pm

I was lucky that my sister in law, Frank's sister, was with me when I picked up his ashes. We sat in the car and cried and laughed and shared memories. It is a very emotional time.

Six months later we let him go in  Cape Cod Bay, she was with me again, as were two of his kids and my sister. More emotional times.

Comment by Branbran36 on December 1, 2016 at 1:21pm

Thank you Sherry

Comment by lowrsr (Sherry) on December 1, 2016 at 12:30pm

I'm not very good with words but I can say I recognize myself in what you say. The first few weeks were a fog. I went through the motions and it was like my brain was turned off. And more than anything, I want to go backwards in time to when my husband and I were together. He died suddenly of a heart attack in september. He was 56. Every day seems to bring me further away from him. It is hard to accept that time keeps marching forward and not backward. 

I'm so sorry that not only do you have to deal with this horrible loss, you have to also deal with the financial fallout and extra stress that it brings. It isn't any consolation, but I am sending you all the best wishes, hugs, and peace that I can at this time.

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