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Dear all

Today was difficult. I was phoned by one of the funeral directors. She said Is it ok if Ken brings the invoice round? I said Yes, of course. I had been expecting it as its two months. Then I said Will he be bringing Pete's ashes? She said Only if you want him to. So I said No, because we are going to have them scattered at sea by the local lifeboat crew but we don't have a date yet. I put the phone down and suddenly felt as though I had rejected Pete himself. I almost rang back to say please bring them. But I stopped myself as I don't know where I would put them that is appropriate. I need time to think about this. I know he isn't really there in his ashes but it's all I have of his physical body. I hadn't realised how this would hit me, but it has done. I am thinking I will ask for them to bring them soon and keep them here for a while and maybe even keep back a little to stay here and let most be scattered. I imagine those of you that opted for a creamation will have struggled with this and I wondered, if it is. It too painful, if you might share your feelings about it with me?

Jan

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Dick and I lived in Salina, Kansas. His transplant center was in St. Louis, Mo. He died there. We had discussed our final wishes quite a bit during our lives and decided we both wanted to be cremated and when we were both gone, we wanted our ashes to be mixed and for our son has agreed to to scatter our ashes at a place of his choosing.

So, Dick was cremated in Missouri and his ashes sent to the mortuary in Salina. They could not be sent to our residence. There are way more rules and regulations regarding how things such as a persons remains are handled than I ever expected. It was surprising to me that ashes had to be mailed, they could not be sent UPS or FedEx. When we had the memorial service, we did not have the ashes.

Our son, Richard, said, Mom, isn't that typical? Dad has decided to take another one of his "short-cuts" and the good Lord only knows when he will get home. It was really kinda cute.

I don't know what is appropriate and I'm pretty sure there is no proper way to deal with ashes. I know of a lady who has a tote bag and takes her husbands ashes every where with her. She seat belts them into the car. I think that is a bit strange?

Dicks ashes are sitting on the shelf in my closet. I just recently have been thinking about getting an vase or something to put the ashes in, but I am not there yet. I think I can perhaps get a vase, if I come across one that "speaks" to me, but I doubt if I would be able to put it anyplace but back up on the shelf in the closet.

Every night, I say good night to the ashes and if I am having a particularity bad day, I open the closet door and tell the ashes all about what is going wrong. I do find it comforting.

Letting go of the ashes is something I have had a very hard time thinking about. It is not difficult for me to be in possession of them, but I am not comfortable with the thought of them being out in the open. Maybe in time. Who knows.

Anne

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Jan - I'll be glad to share. My original plan was to scatter all of Joe's ashes in the ocean at his memorial. I just couldn't...so only a portion was scattered. Another portion went home with the stepkids, and they scattered them in the Pacific. The bulk remain in the biodegradable urn on top of my TV. I also realize they are only the remnants of his physical body, but still - I find comfort having them here, or I should say, having him here. There's simply no right or wrong decision - it's just your decision. I know it's tough - actually, it's sometimes still surreal. Hugs, marsha

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Guest babylady

john's ashes are in a marble urn sitting on a shelf in my living room. we never discussed what he wanted done with them. i thought i'd feel better when i got the ashes but i felt worse. i thought "he left this house on april 10th as a person and on june 8th he returned in an urn." of course i never considered burying him, but i had a strong reaction after he was cremated. thought about how beautiful his body was especially when he was young. i know i made the right decision. the ashes are in a plastic bag inside the urn. i'd like to open them and touch them, but i'm afraid i'll spill them all over. need to have someone here with me when i do it. i might want to scatter some of them around our property, but haven't decided yet -- no rush. trying to live one day at a time.

i didn't have a funeral or memorial service. john lived almost 8 weeks after the diagnosis that he was terminal. he was constantly surrounded by visitors from work. a few times they brought him lunch -- another time the company gave him an ice cream party (he was in assisted living at that point). it was just a few days before they brought him back to hospice. i felt that was his memorial. i had also asked him a few years ago if he wanted a memorial service (this was when he was healthy) and he said "no".

apparently his co-workers were not happy about my decision and i found out last week that they had a lunch or something in his honor and i was not invited. i wouldn't have gone anyway.

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Hi Jan, my personal experience with Mikes ashes were difficult and yet helpfull, I alone picked them up from the funeral home...crying as i buckled them into his seat.......but since then touching these ashes.......which are Mike and yet are not.........has been some great support.....or better said comfort to me. Mikes friends actually demanded that I have a memorial and scatter his ashes in California. at his favorite spot........I immediately became very angry reminding them that this was not about Mike and them.....but about Mike and me at this point....and that my feelings trumped theirs.....havent heard from those "friends" since.......and havent had a formal memorial service yet.......

My plans for Mikes ashes have changed since then, yes i know what he wanted and will honor such....to a degree and yet have every intention to accomplish the bucket list....it went so fast that we accomplished nothing......so every time I go ona trip I hope to place some of Mikes ashes in a beautifull spot......to me how wonderfull to have something of his placed in beautifull places!! to become part of that!!

I know that you are new at this.....at 14 months I am a seasoned pro!lololol.......What ever you decide.......is what you need to do..........just take your time and.......it will come to you...Best wishes!! Dave

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Jan, I do understand that you need time to think about it. I picked up George's ashes as soon as they were ready (within a week) and it was hard, although my sister drove me so I wasn't alone.

We had always planned to scatter our ashes on our favorite walk...but we never really got one because George had a hard time walking, being as he had undiagnosed heart trouble. So I kept his ashes for a couple of years and thought about what to do with them (I kept them in my bedroom). Finally the answer came to me...the happiest years of George's life were spent in our home, our place, he loved it, he always called it "our home in the clouds". We spent many a morning/evening out on our deck, overlooking our forest, watching the hummingbirds come feed. We enjoyed our hanging plants and tending the new tender blooms the flowers created. So in the end I decided to scatter his ashes on our place, it seemed the most fitting resting place for him. A year later I added our cat to the same place under the same tree, and later on, our dog joined them. It has come to be known to my kids and myself as "the family plot" kind of laughingly, because that's where I want my ashes scattered too someday. I've made my kids swear to me they will handle this, even if the place is sold, we have a plan in place where they can enter...scatter, and run. :) (There is a path from the neighbor's place to our back yard and they've given permission to use it).

So I don't think it out of line at all that you would want to wait and think about what to do with his ashes...when the time comes you will know exactly what to do with them, you'll know when and where.

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I honestly am not sure I was totally sane right after Arthur died. I was very irrational and obsessed with bringing him home. If they would have let me bring him home un-cremated I probably would have tried to do so. That was not an option (thankfully), so I had him cremated and brought his ashes home as soon as I could. They are in my bedroom on a bookshelf where I can see them...there are also pictures on the shelf and some of his stuff (glasses, an angel statue he liked and the necklace he gave me while we were dating, etc.) I tend to talk more to his picture then to the urn (a wood box with his name carved on it), but I like knowing he is there.

I told my mom that when I die I want to be cremated and then I want to be sprinkled somewhere out in the woods with Arthur. I plan on keeping his ashes until I die. I did give a small amount to his mom. My Arthur was a big guy (6'4") and given his youth his bones were still really dense so not all the ashes fit in the urn. I gave his mom the extra box of ashes. I did look at them....just like I looked at him (his shell) at the viewing...I needed to know he was not in there anymore. I needed to KNOW he was really dead. For me so much of this has seem very unreal. I have had times where my grip on reality has seemed very tenuous.

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Thank you for sharing that. I am really thinking that when we scatter petes's ashes at sea I shall retain some so that when I die some of Petes ashes can be scattered with mine. I think I will find comfort in this. It's a new thought but it's s good one. I think Pete would approve too. Thanks for helping me to think of this hard thing. Everything is hard right now but this is so important to me nd symbolic as well as real.

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You did what you felt right about and the coworkers did what they felt right about. However, no one seemed to communicate with you about your choice and then failed to reach out at e memorial time they had. Too bad they did not at least invite you. I am sorry. Mary

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Guest babylady

it would have been nice if they invited me. i felt disrespected. before john went back to hospice a co-worker wanted to take john to a catholic church without asking my permission. he didn't know john was an atheist. that too was disrespectful. they thought they knew john. they only knew the john they worked with -- not the real john.

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They seem like a pretty bold and brazen group. Losing a loved one is difficult enough without these kinds of complications. I am so sorry.

Mary

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JanC,

My thoughts on the topic...each one of us must do what we feel is comforting to us,

as our feelings and comfort is what's most important during this time...I have Ruth's Urn sitting in a

memorial spot I've created in my home, she wanted to be scattered but changed her mind upon discussing

how I felt, and I told I wanted her with me until it was my time then the two urns of cremains are to be

scattered on our favorite Bass fishing spot by my sons...I also have a small pocket urn that is always

with me, I have found this most comforting at times and I truely think it allows me keep in touch with her

on another level, I have been reading much about how our loved ones still touch our lives daily from the

other side and are very much still with us....may you find your answers...

NATS

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Jan C,

I have Celene's ashes in a blue and silver urn (her favorite colors) on my dresser with her picture behind it and memorable items around. Ciara and I had "Your dream lives on" engraved on it. Ciara and I both have necklace charms that carry a small portion of Celene's ashes inside. Ciara's is a dog's paw (Celene loved animals, especially dogs) and mine is a dolphin (Celene and I loved the ocean). During holiday/seasonal times, I place items by the urn to help make a connection to the moment. Celene's wish was to have her ashes scattered where animal life would be present (forest, ocean, zoos...). I also will keep a portion to have placed with mine when my final day comes. Ciara will assist in that wish and she might choose to hold on to both of us till she passes; who knows. I do know that at this time I have no desire to begin scattering Celene's ashes. I know the time will come when it feels right.

Anthony

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Guest babylady

They seem like a pretty bold and brazen group. Losing a loved one is difficult enough without these kinds of complications. I am so sorry.

Mary

thankfully i didn't know them before john got ill and i'll never have to deal with them again.

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My Roger sits on the electric fireplace in my living room. That way I and my girls see him and know he is always near. I just miss seeing him in human form on the couch, being able to take comfort in him and talk...really talk, without fear of judgement and the fact that I was and always will e aware of his undying love for his family! I miss my soulmate, it is so hard to breathe at times... yet I go on breathing even to my shagrin... God has a purpose, ut what?

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Thank you all so much for replies which have helped me to understand what I do and do not want to do with Pete's ashes. I know now that I want some at least to stay with me until i die and for them to be mixed with Pete's and scattered at sea. What I am still struggling with is whether to scatter some soon which is what I had already intended to do. The mere thought of doing it makes me kind of horrified though. I think the physical scattering might send me over the edge somehow. I just don't know. I do know that having them near me is going to be a good thing though and I am amazed at this as I would never have thought I would want that.

Tomorrow I have a counsellor coming from Cruse which is the UK bereavement support organisation, it is a man, which surprised me (for some reason I assumed it would be a woman). I feel that I haven't accepted the fact that Pete has died at all. I live in numb pain, which turns into sharp pain when things happen to make me confront my loss (the word isn't strong enough). But nevertheless despite feeling so very very sad all the time I still don't think I am truly believing it and maybe talking to this person will help? I don't know.

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Jan,

Evaluate your meeting then do what's in your heart, you have to decide and you'll know what feels comforting...besides we have no rush with these issues take your time.

NATS

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Jan, a few weeks after Mike was cremated, our good friend, who worked at the funeral home called me. "Are you ready for Mike to come home?", he ask. And I was. I bought a red rock urn from Arizona, that I knew Mike would love. Most of his ashes are in that urn,on the bookcase in the living room, under a painting given to me by an artist friend after Mike died. His "Tony Joe White, Poke Salad Annie" hat is on a corner of the frame, and his last work picture in a small frame beside the rock. That is all a sort of memorial to Mike. There are also ashes in a box in my bedroom closet shelf. Mike was a big man, and there were ashes left over after filling the rock. When my friend Tom travels to a new place, he takes a little bit of Mike with him, along with his wife Ann's ashes, and scatters them. What ever feels right to you, is right. No one else in my family has ever been cremated, and I am sure my wanting Mike's rock right out in the living room has caused some conversation....however no one has said anything to me. I feel comforted having him close. I am going, however, to have a stone put up on a cemetary plot that I already own. My son who died 40 years ago is buried there. When I die, my kids already know that I want to be cremated, and my ashes mixed with Mike's and both of us to be buried there by Kevin.

It is sad that John's co-workers were so disrespectful of you, and ultimately of your relationship with John.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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You're welcome! And you will know what to do and when. :) Until then, may they be a source of comfort to you.

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Good for you, Jan. There is absolutely no hurry. Listen to your heart.

Peace, Mary

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My husband died 14 months ago. He wanted his body donated to a local medical college for research. After being at the college for 3 months he was cremated and his ashes were mailed to me. So I have had Rich's ashes for 11 months. I find great comfort in having them in the house. I have bought several pieces of cremation jewelry, filled them with his ashes, but I find I do not wear the jewelry. I filled a lovely cremation locket for my mother-in-law, and she wears hers every day. We never discussed what I was to do with his ashes, but I think he would like to be scattered on our hayfields. I think that will be a very difficult thing for me to do. I keep thinking that I should disperse some of his ashes, but I am not ready yet.

Currently I have most of his ashes in an urn that I have grown to dislike. This week I ordered a plain wooden urn that I will transfer his ashes into when I receive it. I am not ready to let go of any of his ashes yet. I suspect I will keep them for a long time.

Beth

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I have been looking at urns on the Internet and can't stand the look of any as they don't seem appropriate somehow. I want one with a spiral on it but can't find one. Also am in uk and there doesn't seem a good choice here. I do have a blue ceramic one we used to use for making a rum toft (fruit in rum) and maybe I should use that. It seems kind of bizarre thinking about this but I know it is part of the whole thing.

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I have been looking at urns on the Internet and can't stand the look of any as they don't seem appropriate somehow. I want one with a spiral on it but can't find one. Also am in uk and there doesn't seem a good choice here. I do have a blue ceramic one we used to use for making a rum toft (fruit in rum) and maybe I should use that. It seems kind of bizarre thinking about this but I know it is part of the whole thing.

A friend of mine had a local potter make an urn with what designs she wanted. You might think about that...the ones on the web are probably all mass produced. Your rum toft pot has memories attached and that may make it a good choice or one you regret. I am home from art. the instructor and another friend are coming shortly to see my studio and then we will go out for something to eat. It is 100 degrees AGAIN, the drought is serious here and the heat is just exhausting for people. I walk Bentley very early and late. Even at 10pm it is 90 degrees. I have this feeling that I should have pressure on me....I think it will take several months to get past that feeling.

Peace and love

Mary

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A friend of mine had a local potter make an urn with what designs she wanted. You might think about that...the ones on the web are probably all mass produced. Your rum toft pot has memories attached and that may make it a good choice or one you regret.

Agreed!

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