Young Widow Forum

Time Frame => Beyond the First Year (1+ years) => Topic started by: Bambi on October 29, 2017, 11:18:08 AM

Title: My husband's ashes
Post by: Bambi on October 29, 2017, 11:18:08 AM
Its been 15 months since I lost the love of my life, my husband, to cancer.  Yesterday I received this text from my psycho step son:  "We need to organise a service to dispose of dad's ashes.  Its not fair on his family and friends that they have nowhere to go to remember him.  Did you have a plan?".  He's not contacted me since he physically attacked me back in April and got arrested.  He freaked out because he was angry I was getting 75% of our marital home (he gets 25% so its not even as if he's cut off).  I am scared of him.  Friends and family have sided with him because apparently he should have got the house and I should just move out now I am surplus to requirements.  I have my darling Steve's ashes in a beautiful urn at home with me and am not ready to let him go yet (maybe I should be, but I'm just not!).  His family haven't bothered with me since the funeral and as for his friends ..... well we all know how that goes.  I have composed 100s of replies in my head which tell him exactly what I think but he has keys to my home (the estate is still in Probate as there was no Will) and I can't legally change the locks.  My worry is he will come to the house while I am at work and help himself to Steve's ashes and arrange some G*d awful service without me.  They had a golf day and dinner on the 1st anniversary of his death which I wasn't told about, let alone invited to, I found out from someone else.  He has helped himself in the past to anything of value he wanted from the house but I can't bring myself to care about stuff so have let it go.  I could take the ashes back to the funeral home but worry he will have some kind of right as his son to get them.  And they are not something you can easily ask friends to look after for you!  I was starting to get myself back together but this has sent me spiralling backwards. I find it obscene that people who didn't bother with him when he was alive and ill are (apparently) all worked up about going to see him now he's dead!!
Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: Wheelerswife on October 29, 2017, 12:37:40 PM
Hi, Bambi.

I'm sorry you are having to go through all of this.  There is just no excuse for your stepson's physical attack on you.  Can you get a restraining order?  Have you told the police that he has taken property without permission?

One thing that is hard for us sometimes is to recognize that other people grieve for the person who was our spouse.  No matter how we look at things, other people look from their own perspective.  I don't know how long you were with your husband or how old his son is, but I do know that others sometimes don't think as rationally as they could in circumstances like these. I don't know why your stepson would have rights to your marital home.  That has to leave you in an uncomfortable position.  Perhaps he was living with you?

I was with my second husband less than 4 years and married less than 3.  He was about the same age as your husband when he died.  My BIL seemed to have the idea that he was going to get something in his brother's will.  But my husband left everything to me and I was the executor of his will.  It took me 3.5 years before I parted with a lot of my husband's personal property, but I assured my BIL that he would get first dibs on things I chose not to keep.  Eventually, he hauled off a box truck full of his brother's effects.

My husband was also cremated, but he wanted to have his ashes divided and buried half with his late wife and half eventually with me. My MIL was not happy about that.  She had lost a son at age 24 and wanted her boys buried together.  I let her know what her son had wanted.  I was 18 months out before I had half of his ashes buried 1/2 a continent away in California where his late wife had wanted to be buried.  I invited some friends and family and we had a simple graveside service.  Eventually, I bought a plot where we lived and buried most of the rest of the ashes there a few months ago.  It was hard to part with the ashes, especially since I decided to move back near where I lived before I met my second husband.

As hard as it is for us, other people have to find their way through grief, too.  They may never accept that your husband loved you - like a spouse and lover - and that you had become the primary person in his life.  But trying to tell his son this likely won't help.  Perhaps you can think about splitting his ashes? I had the funeral home do this (and I did not bring them home until after his memorial service).  I don't think it dishonors your husband to let them inter some of his ashes.  It is apparent that they still think about this and the issue is not likely to go away.  I don't know if probate has any jurisdiction over his ashes, but if they might, you may want to try to take control over the situation before you don't have a say in the matter.

I know how much I was grieving at 15 months and as much as I am thinking practically now, I know you suffer and are scared right now.  Perhaps you can find someone you can trust to hold onto precious possessions and the ashes, too.  You don't deserve this anguish!


Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: donswife on October 30, 2017, 08:33:05 AM
Hi Bambi ,

Such a tough situation for you and I am so sorry this is something you have to deal with.
Could you get an alarm system installed in your house ?
That way you don't have to change the locks but also can stop him from coming in your house
I know it is an added thing you have to think about but may give you peace knowing you have control of who is coming in and out pf your house
Take Care

Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: twin_mom on October 31, 2017, 11:17:28 AM
You having his ashes has no bearing on them creating a place to remember your love. It sounds like you don't know yet what you want to do - do not let anyone push you into a decision you're not ready for. If they want to have a memorial and celebrate your beloved with a marker them tell your stepson that they have your blessing to do that but you're not ready to inter/distribute his ashes.

One of the best things I did was give my two stepdaughters and my MIL little urns with ashes. (Even though I'm Catholic so it's a big no-no) that way they could do whatever they wanted and I didn't have to be involved in their grief process.
Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: soloact on November 01, 2017, 10:35:52 PM

I'm sorry you are dealing with this very difficult situation. It a safe deposit box at your bank an option you would consider until the estate is settled? You would be limited to the hours of the financial institution for access to the urn.

You don't have to hold a service now or ever if you don't feel comfortable with that. It's ten years for me and my husband's urn is in my room where I placed it when I brought him home.

Wishing you peace.
Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: Bambi on November 22, 2017, 10:56:54 AM
Thank you for all your replies - this forum is a lifesaver and the only place I don't feel like an alien that has just landed!  I have been a total mess but am working through (stupid phrase) this particular shit storm as much as I can.  Its involved a violent return to the "kitchen floor reset" - you know, the one where you collapse on the floor in a foetal position and cry so violently you vomit.  Nice.  I came to the view that my Steve's ashes weren't him and that I was holding on to them so tightly because to let them go would be, in some God awful way, to have to finally accept he is gone forever.  I've never felt comfortable personally with splitting ashes although I would never judge anyone else or make any comment, we all do whatever we can just to get through this hell. I knew Psycho Step Son would never let it go, he loves a drama and any excuse to harass me.  The rest of his family while conspicuous by their absence before, during and after my Steve's death, were also feeding on the high drama of it all.  So I took the ashes back to the funeral home, said my goodbyes and told Psycho Boy to go get them.  I know I've done the right thing as there has been radio silence from all of them since (they got what they wanted but now have no ammo and not a clue what they want to do).  Let them tear each other apart (as they will) over this.  I have a feeling they will put him with his first wife as a final up yours to me.  So be it.  I am out of it.  As my Steve would've said "that ain't me Bambi!" ........ 
Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: Captains wife on November 22, 2017, 02:04:50 PM
Good for you Bambi and for taking that road. I'm so sorry with all the added grief from your  LH's family - so unnecessary. After my husband died my MIL went behind my back and took the ashes and wouldn't give me any of them when I asked. I just let that go and they are still with her. She has plans for them that relate to her family and nothing to do with me and my son. I just don't feel like fighting about it....Wishing you all the best,
Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: Bambi on November 27, 2017, 10:03:51 AM
Captain's wife - how these people look themselves in the mirror is beyond me!  I share your pain but we (and all our fellow wronged widows/widowers) will come out of this so much better than those who happily stomp on others hearts. xxx
Title: Re: My husband's ashes
Post by: TheWidowWhisperer on February 19, 2018, 08:05:33 AM
I've never heard from my husband's son after he died. He did not come to the service but organized his own religious service (in direct opposition to his father's wishes and religion.) His daughter begrudgingly came to the service I created and was given a grand tour of our neighborhood and favorite spots by my husband's best friend. Neither child had ever visited or reached out in any way while he was alive. They were the recipients of cash gifts and visits but never made any efforts whatsoever. I held onto the ashes for a year in case they wanted them (personally, I have no attachment to the remains of anyone.) I held onto yearbooks and family photo albums, but 4 years later I still have not heard a thing. There really is no reason they should've behaved differently in death than they did in life. It would've broken his heart to know this so in that sense I'm glad he's not here.