Author Topic: Ashes (again)  (Read 1452 times)


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Ashes (again)
« on: May 02, 2017, 02:46:36 PM »
So its been 4.5 years and I need to do something about/with Scott's ashes.  They sit on a dresser in the closet of the bedroom I now share with Andy.  It doesn't bother either one of us in the least but its time I figure out what to do.  Scott asked me to scatter them in five locations on three continents.  I've managed only one of these: in the ocean on "our" beach in NJ but it was not only logistically the simplest, I did it way  too soon (at six months) and it threw me in a major way.  The likelihood of my making it to the Ganges anytime soon is pretty slim....

Has anyone else had this conundrum?  OF course in an ideal world, I'd have done this exactly as he asked but its not looking possible.  Scott always called San Francisco his "city by the bay" and gave the most specific instructions for where and at what time of day he wanted me to scatter his ashes there.  I think I could live with spreading most of them there and getting there might be within reach.  Just not sure what to do.  Any thoughts? 


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 02:58:55 PM »
While my husband had an unusual request about what to do with his cremains, and it could have been a little bit of a family joke, I did accommodate this. It went a little bit wrong though, and we ended up having more than "half of him" left over. I knew I wanted to take some of him with me to Croatia, which was to be our next trip together. There are other places, I don't know if I will get there. But I am not in any hurry. I have an interesting container and it sits on a table in our upstairs hallway. I walk by it all of the time and notice it's presence, but it is not in the main living area or my bedroom. Both of the kids have a little mini-urn and one wants to take him to Alaska, the other Scotland. His brother also had one, but we traveled together to Canada about a year after and left them at their mothers grave.

I sometimes ponder the oddity of him being in so many different places, but I also ponder the oddity that he once existed, and now he isn't here. It's all I can do.

To answer your question, I would never say never. If you are at all in doubt, what is the harm in leaving them right where they are until you know?

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 03:36:28 PM »
if you spread his ashes in the ocean, they will eventually be in oceans all over the world.


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 06:29:47 PM »
Has anyone else had this conundrum?  OF course in an ideal world, I'd have done this exactly as he asked but its not looking possible.  Scott always called San Francisco his "city by the bay" and gave the most specific instructions for where and at what time of day he wanted me to scatter his ashes there.  I think I could live with spreading most of them there and getting there might be within reach.  Just not sure what to do.  Any thoughts?


I won't tell you what I think you should do with Scott's ashes. What I will tell you is that over the years I have learned to give myself latitude. Where once I tried to keep things in close semblance to our shared life together -- which included our future plans -- I now give myself permission to do as I see fit. By and large, I think DH would be pleased with decisions I now make...which isn't really my motive or my end-goal. At the end of his life, DH knew I was going to be okay because I have always been able to stand on my own feet, weather great turbulence, and make wise moves. So while I have sometimes progressed in different directions than we discussed in 20XX, above all he had full trust in me to make decisions in real time.



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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 10:49:24 PM »
There was no husband died suddenly and we had not ruminated on this subject...even cremation was up for debate
I made the decision about cremation ......and my thought with the ashes was they would go to places we'd been and enjoyed and places we'd talked about going....he was always on the go and to me it seemed appropriate that he not have only one resting place.
I had places in mind ....and I've done pretty good at getting them there.....thing is I feel like I'm running out of places but still have lots of ashes left....perhaps I will have to do a second visit to some places.


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 09:26:52 PM »
As in all things widow(er)hood do what feels right.  I am approaching 4.5 years as well.  Fal died suddenly without the benefit of a conversation about what to do with her ashes.  She was from India so the Ganges was a given...when is a completely different matter.  I started with the idea that I would spread them wherever I felt were important places to us.  I also talked to the kids about places they thought were important.  So far she rests...
on the side of a hill over looking the Caribbean on St. John,
under her bench in our local park overlooking her space in the annual art show,
in the rose garden park where I proposed to her,
in the pond of the scout camp I spend a week at each year,
in Lake Lucerne, Switzerland where we spent many vacations together,
around a memorial plaque at another local scout camp.

I will get her to India someday,  for now the rest wait in an unremarkable music box with an Eagle statue on top, she was crazy about eagles, in the living room where only we realize she is there.

My kids will have explicit instructions to blend what's left with my ashes and put us in the same places as well as any others I get to in the future.  Of course should I be so lucky as to find chapter 2 someday I will have some of me set aside for her to use as she sees fit.
Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us everyday.
Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 03:55:00 PM »
When Big Guy first died, I was given a demand by my father to deal with them swiftly. He was upset I had him sitting in the garage on his work bench. I park in front of the work bench, and I think he was afraid it would haunt me every day.

I was extremely early maybe first month or two when I dispersed the first few rounds. I was numb, and felt dead inside each time. 6 years for me in July, and I too still need to get him to some of his favorite places.

A little after a year, and I decided that he would travel with me everywhere I travel. Damn near had a meltdown when I forgot to bring him to Jamaica.

Quit putting pressure on yourself. You'll figure it out.
You hate me don't you? Yup, so much I married you twice! :)


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2017, 08:52:58 AM »
Yikes.  It sounds like Scott assigned you quite the task.  I say cut yourself some major slack and choose what feels right to you. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2017, 09:44:28 AM »
Yikes.  It sounds like Scott assigned you quite the task.  I say cut yourself some major slack and choose what feels right to you.

My thought, too.  Glad someone else stated it out loud.  Scott a romantic?  Makes me think of the movie, "PS I love you."   He had no idea what your life would be after he passed on, so I think no time limit.  Do what you can, how you can.  Hopefully he would be thrilled for you to move forward. 

I have quandaries some times and talk to friends, and they sometimes ask me what DH would have done.  I have gotten to the point that his opinion doesn't matter.  He left, not on his own decision, but still.  I am on my own to make the choices, good, bad and ugly.

Hope you can figure a way that works out well for you.


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2017, 03:15:44 PM »
And here I'd forgotten the final one: a village on the island of Korcula in Croatia.  We went there three times when M was a baby after I'd finished my summer research.  Having remembered that the other day, I thought to myself, "That's it.  We'll go back to Korcula and leave him in the Adriatic."  Those were some of the happiest days of my life, of our lives together.  And one day I'll get back to SF, too.  I just got this on my mind the other day but it has helped to think of it not as something that has to "get done"  (god the way we talk about death sometimes!) but rather a remembrance that can go on for years.  I like that idea much better, along with Maddalena's thought that all of the waters eventually run together.  You guys are all the best!  xo


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2017, 11:13:00 AM »
He's not physically here to judge what you do with his ashes. Life changes. Circumstances change. The best of intentions and promises can't always be kept when someone is no longer here.

I've got a lot of Squish's writings, and he always wanted his words to be published in a book. I've tried many times to go through them and compile them into something cohesive and worthy. I can't do it. Every time I sit down with his writings, I lose my shit. It's been nearly 5 years since he's been gone.

He couldn't accomplish it in his lifetime, and it's no longer reasonable for me to try to do it. If he's mad any me when I get up to wherever he is, so be it.
Gone but not Squish.

Miss you forever baby girl, my Pru!


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2017, 09:20:59 AM »
I agree that there is no time limit. I've had the ashes (also in my closet) over three years now, and just now decided what to do.  Since I'm about to start travelling with the kids, I'm going to put a pinch of ashes in all the most beautiful places we visit, starting with Carlsbad Caverns, where we went when she was pregnant with our second. So I guess I'll be travelling the country with my wife's ashes, looking for a view. But three continents? That's tough. But you never know what opportunities could arise. Good luck!
Here's to my pretty young wife     sleepin amongst the stars           now they say what's hers is mine but I know what's ours is ours


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2017, 02:03:21 PM »
Rome is on the list.  I'm there now and I didn't bring any.  This is my fourth trip since he died, in fact, and I still haven't brought any to scatter in the Tiber.  Not sure what's getting in my way.  As others have said, I'll know what to do when the time/place is right.  Thanks so much to all of you! 

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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2017, 12:45:54 PM »
Where I live we have a one year rule. That is the deadline to act with the ashes. so we buried my DH's ashes a week ago. It was like a mini-funeral, all the men got to cry some cries they obviously needed to, and I got to notice that I have let go a little bit. All in all, I am strangely  relieved. I didn't have to set the time frame, it was done for me. And now, I somehow feel liberated, like I am and I must start to somehow be free, somehow let go, somehow start to see myself as just me. And I have started, here at 11 months. I feel so much better thean even three months ago.
I could have lived with his ashes for decades, but I dunno, meybe this forced timeline also forces me to move on, even just a little bit.


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Re: Ashes (again)
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2017, 01:50:34 PM »
I buried the second half of his ashes 10 days ago...3 years and 4 months into this.  It was something I knew I had to do, yet I feel more broken.  The cemetery is just a few blocks from the house, and I stop by there frequently.  I have had the plot and headstone for almost 3 years, but having his ashes buried there seems to have set off a switch in my head and I ache more.  I know that some of this is about finality...I am also planning on leaving here and taking on a fresh start somewhere yet to be determined.  This life as I knew it is over.  I loved my life with him, even though it was brief...less than 4 years from first conversation until he died.  But I loved that life...and it can't be the same without him.  Just different grief, I guess.

Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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