here’s a question

2 days until we scatter LC’s ashes. well really the creek isn’t flowing so we’ll have to kind of dump them in and then what? watch them sit there? stir them up with a stick? check back when the tide comes in?

i want to hold them in my hands and let them drop through my fingers.

anyway the question. should i keep some?

i am kind of inclined to let them all go but then what if i change my mind? i could keep some to protect against regrets but i do like the idea of releasing all of the ashes. and letting her go. and her brother. any thoughts? experiences? suggestions?

i scouted the site the other day when i went for a walk with my kids. wow it is so beautiful. it’s intensely peaceful. it’s so the right place. i cant believe that i found it. and so very close to my home. on a beautiful walk. i thought i was being remiss in leaving her ashes in the cabinet for nearly two years (two years??) but now i can believe that i was waiting for the right place instead of just choosing not to deal.

the question, to be clear, is should i keep some ashes?

wow as i write that i had a fleeting weird image of rubbing them on my body. freaky. i guess its the only way i can physically have any experience of her ever again. rubbing her ashes on my body. maybe that means i should keep some. perhaps i am not ready to part with them. i dont have anything to put them in.

jesus i hope there are no bones in there this time. when i picked up her ashes from the mortuary i opened the box and the bag. there were bones. tiny and complete. i could’ve assembled a miniature skeleton. there were long bones and hip sockets even. it was horrifying. i took them back to be reduced to actual ash hopefully. how the f*ck could a 23 week gestational age baby not be reduced to ash in an incinerator?

my parents are leaving tomorrow. after five nights with them i feel profoundly depressed. and hopeless about almost everything i can think of. i’d smoke some maryjane if i had some. i am exhausted. maybe subconsciously i figure my kids will feel this way about me when they grow up. and then what is all of this for if they can’t stand to be around me? sure its for them but i was hoping we’d enjoy each other when they are grown. ugh thats so miserable to think of.

happy place. need to go to the happy place.


~ by complicatedmama on November 16, 2007.

10 Responses to “here’s a question”

  1. This is my view on the ashes, but I want to preface it by saying it’s a very personal thing and there isn’t a right or wrong answer.

    You shouldn’t keep any. For me scattering the ashes is part of you letting go of attachments that you have to someone who isn’t physically here anymore. For me LC isn’t physically in the box, she’s already physically gone. She’s more etheral that ashes – she is in your mind, heart and soul. The ashes are a physical symbol of her but her essence isn’t in the box any more.

    So for me scattering the ashes at this point is about you symbolising your own emotional release.

    I felt this when scattering my father’s ashes. I wasn’t particularly upset as I didn’t feel any sort of presence of my Dad in the ashes anymore. However paradoxically I still felt that they had to be scattered otherwise my Dad’s life was somehow not quite finished.

    Of course for LC the ashes is pretty much all that is physically left of her so they represent a lot more of her. But there is so much emotionally left of her.

    FWIW, in Hinduism, it’s believed the soul hangs around for 13 days after death, after which it’s gone – to where who knows – Hindus say the soul will eventually go on to a new physical life, or attain moksha. Cremation is something which releases the soul from attachments to its physical body.

    Much love to you. It’s a very difficult thing to do.

  2. Just wanted to let you know that I was still reading. I have absolutely no advice about the ashes.

    In regards to the parenting, I think that the mere fact that you are considering short and long term impacts of your actions on your relationship with your children puts you in good stead for how they will view you later.

    I hope the ceremony (is that the right word?) goes well and brings you peace.

  3. I don’t know. I struggle with this, I’ve had Connor’s ashes for almost four years in a safe in my house. But I think mine is the “I’m just not dealing with that part yet”.

  4. I have just found you again about a week ago, and have just lurked and not commented (sorry). However, I truly believe you should let all of the ashes go. The place you’ve chosen sounds absolutely beautiful and perfect, and you can visit there to feel reconnected. I think I would want to let all of the ashes go at once – otherwise you’ll still have unfinished business. Sending you a hug and best wishes for some element of closure.


  5. Only you can know what’s right for you.

    I still have my daughters ashes (seven years later.) To me it doesn’t represent anything but my own memories of her. Tangible evidence of her short life. I selfishly hold on to them for me. It’s the most real thing I’ll have of her in this life. If I did find a beautiful place to scatter them I think I would keep some. Maybe in a sealed locket or something.

  6. oh god the ashes…i don’t know; although the fact that you actually feel you’ve found the perfect place says don’t keep any? i am feeling i need every speck of dust right now, but i find myself very much agreeing with rosepetal.

    parents- i think about that all the time. i hope to high heaven my kids like me. i certainly think i’m waaaay more likeable than my own mother…but was she more likeable, ever? ugh…that would suck. but i do know people who like their parents. wait…do i know them in person? i can’t remember! oh my god…well, if i turn into some crazy unlikeable lunatic i hereby blame it on stay-at-home motherhood.

  7. I don’t know if my advice is worth much of anything, because this is so personal a decision. My take on it is that if you are trying to decide, maybe you should keep a little bit of them.

    I’m so glad that you found such a wonderful spot. It sounds just lovely. I wanted to let you know that I saw some pinwheels the other day and thought of you and your family.

  8. totally personal. i felt like rosepetal about my mom’s ashes – it wasn’t hard to let them go. she was gone gone gone. the only thing i wish for is a place to visit to “be with” her (she was scattered in arizona – she didn’t care where as she believed it was just a shell) – sounds like you have that. i guess the decision is made by now, actually – what did you do? i was thinking of you this weekend.

  9. I’ve been meaning to reply to this…but being so new to this, I think my opinion is a bit skewed (although, I do think I will always feel this way). I agree with charmedgirl, though. I mean if you are questionning it at all, you could keep some. If you changed your mind, you could always scatter them afterwards. If you do keep some, I guess the question is where would you keep them? I am looking at some jewelry that will hold some of my son’s ashes. I am sure family and friends will think I am crazy to “wear” my dead son; I can see their looks of pity already.

  10. I’m wishing I had a tiny bit of ashes from my Grandmother or Grandfather — or both — tucked away somewhere, to clutch or display … or to prove to me, somehow, that these people ever really existed. They raised me and then one day they were gone … But they were grown-up figures, and I’m unsure how relevant my own wishes would be to what will — ultimately — be good for you.

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