Her Ashes

I have come to a difficult decision.

It all started with Ava’s Tree. Not the blog or the book (coming 2015!), the actual tree.  We planned her memorial tree with the intention that we may spread some of her ashes there.  The day came and Matt and I could not do it.  We could not bear to part with her ashes.  Further to, the public nature of the park her tree is in meant we did not have assurance as to what would happen to her tree.  We decided not to.

We thought, debated and soul searched for the next nearly 3 years.  (How has it almost been three years!) We talked about spreading them on the French River where we vacationed with her when I was newly pregnant. Perhaps at the new house, we would plant her tree and have her ashes there?  We kept putting off the decision time and time again. Nothing felt right.  Her ashes remained in their standard funeral box waiting for us to make a decision. I can’t stand that box, with its uneven sticker that has her name on it.  Yet, there it sits.

When the move happened and I found myself struggling.  As we packed boxes I kept checking and rechecking the location of her ashes.  I set them aside and the day of the move carried them personally into the rental, in their plastic, white, standard funeral box and set them on the mantle.  I keep checking on them.  I find myself going over and holding the box, checking that it is okay.  I feel the need to have them close.

The tipping point was when a dear BLM friend of mine spread some of her daughters ashes recently.  I read her beautiful, eloquent and touching blog post about them spreading her daughters ashes and I found my heart racing, palms sweating and adrenaline firing. All the sudden it became so clear.  I can’t do it!  I don’t think I can spread her ashes.  I need her home with us.  I need her remains with us.  I knew I had to talk to Matt about this as my response was visceral, so clear and I was terrified he would not feel the same.

Matt has been away at a conference, his work schedule has been grinding lately and to be perfectly honest he is on the edge of burn out.  I knew my timing wasn’t great but we never keep secrets from one another and this felt like such a major realization I knew I had to speak to him soon.  On Saturday we went for brunch and I told him about my reaction to thinking about releasing her ashes.  I told him about my new fixation with them, feeling the need to check on them and detesting the fact she remains in this white, awful box while we make our decision.  As I broke down over my eggs and pancakes I saw relief wash over his face.  He said he felt the exact same way.  That he wanted to keep her ashes and not spread them, that we should get an urn we love and keep her home with us…where she belongs.

It felt like a 50 pound weight came off my shoulders.  All this time to be struggling not knowing the best decision for us…knowing a cemetery wouldn’t work, nor would any of the other solutions. Suddenly it was so clear, she needs to stay home with us.

Now I am searching for an urn that we love.  We have found many infant urns but I want something that is a little unique, perhaps clay or stone? Something feminine and sweet.  It is a relief to have a decision made and to have it be what is best for our family.