(Bit of a sad topic. Death mentioned)
As we drove past the Memorial park today, on our way back from the play place, Marko said quietly “Perhaps we should think of putting Ben’s ashes there sometime”, and I went cold. “No. No, I can’t. I can’t do it,” I spluttered. Ok he said, we don’t have to, but can I ask why not?
And it is a question I have been thinking of ever since my friend V buried her daughter Kendra’s ashes there over a year ago. Why are Ben’s ashes still in a small wooden box, tucked away inside his memory box, hidden high up on the top shelf of Kate’s cupboard? Why is it that every time I hear of people doing wonderful things with their loved one’s ashes, like sprinkling them into the sea, or burying them in a beautiful memorial park, I get a panicky feeling inside?
I know that those ashes don’t embody the spirit of my son. Just as I knew that his tiny body didn’t house his spirit after he had passed on. But it didn’t seem to make a difference then, as it doesn’t now.
After Ben died, the (people who do this type of thing) came to collect his body. We had decided to have him cremated as I couldn’t stand the thought of his body being buried. Because he died late in the afternoon, he was taken to the mortuary overnight, which was extremely upsetting for me. I begged and begged the (people who do this type of thing) to have him cremated as soon as possible. I don’t know why, but the thought of him lying there, alone, cold was unbearable.
The very next day, the day after my child had died, Marko and I had to go through to the funeral place to sign the papers, pay the bill. Pick a box for his ashes. Ghastly. Absolutely shocking that anyone has to go through that.
Anyway, he was cremated and the next day Marko went to fetch his ashes. They were in the small, plain wooden box we had chosen. We put the wooden box inside his memory box and there they have been ever since.
I know there are people who do wonderful things with their loved one’s ashes. Sprinkle them in forests, in favourite places. The sea. In the mountains. Or they bury them in some special memorial place. I can’t. I can’t bear to part with them. I don’t know why. I just can’t.
It’s not as if I take the small wooden box out. I never do. I actually hardly ever open the memory box, it is too painful for me still. But I need to have his ashes close to me. I need to know that it is close by, part of us. Part of the family. It sounds macabre, but it doesn’t feel that way. I am not sure why I feel this way. All I know is that I don’t think I can ever let his ashes go. Ever.
I’m interested to know from others who have had their loved ones cremated. What did you do with the ashes and why?