Discussion Topic

Struggling with the idea of burying my son's ashes...advice welcomed

Posted on 11/01/09, 05:34 pm
I’m really struggling with something and hope that some of you who have had the same experience can share your thoughts and guidance with me. When my son, Nigel, passed away unexpectedly in January 2009, we had him cremated and his ashes are now resting in a beautiful urn in my living room. (I also have a small urn, by my bed, and a necklace that I always wear with his ashes inside.) My parents, who are still living, already have their family plot with the family headstone. We decided to have Nigel interned there. (He was very close to his grandparents.) I purchased a stone marker to place on his grave. Because of the dreary, grey weather that we now have in Vermont, I decided to have the internment next spring…when it will be warmer and sunnier. This past week, I went with my parents to see Nigel’s marker which has been put in place. I totally broke down. It looked so lonely…even though there were other graves all around. My struggle is that I don’t want to intern his ashes anymore. I want him to stay in my home and be present in my daily life and when family and friends come over. The cemetery seems such a cold and lonely place to leave him when he can be around ‘life’. Am I wrong to feel this way? Am I being selfish?

Showing 1 - 10 of 28 Replies
  • Reply #1 11/01/09  5:36pm
    sorry about the symbols...I copied and pasted from Word...the symbols are apostrophes.
  • Reply #2 11/01/09  5:50pm
    I think you have answered your own question. You want him with you...love and peace in this decision process...Karen
  • Reply #3 11/01/09  7:08pm
    I have no "advice" to give you because every situation is different; we did inter our son's ashes several days after his funeral. We recently had the memorial stone installed, including a "laser etching" from a photo taken on his last birthday. The cemetery where he is buried has MANY graves of people who died too soon....to suicide, to cancer, to accidents....it is a place of many "hard" stories in our community. I think it gives some small comfort to his friends to go by there and "visit" him. We have a family dog who is almost 13 and very much a senior dog. When she goes, our plan is to have her cremated and inter her with him. (this will have to be done by us after dark on our own! but this we will do)
  • Reply #4 11/01/09  7:27pm
    You are NOT being selfish - whatever feels right to you now is what you should do. Maybe down the road you will feel differently - or maybe not, and that's OK. This is a private and personal decision - and it is your son and your decision. My son was also cremated - we all had different ideas about what we wanted.....my husband took a portion and interred them at sea at the spot he and David first went deep sea fishing, which they loved to do together. His fiancée took some and put them in their special places at school, their first kiss, date etc. ( he was a senior at Purdue University, IN, when he died ) - and as for me, I needed a place to go and reflect so I bought a plot in an old cemetery I love, erected a bench and buried the rest myself....so I can go sit and talk to him or just sit.
    Sorry to ramble...just trying to say, whatever you decide - it's right. In any case, take care of yourself ~ Joanna
  • Reply #5 11/02/09  12:35am
    I am also tring to decide where to spread Evan's ashes. I planned to do this on his birthday Nov. 6, but as it draws nearer, I am not sure what to do. In a way I want to set his spirit free, but he is free. The ashes are for us. If you want to keep some and place some near his grand parents and keep some that may be the best of the situation. But it is your final decision. I know that is the hardest part as it becomes very final once the ashes are spread. I wish you all the strength to do what is right for you. Debbie
  • Reply #6 11/02/09  7:23pm
    I have my sons ashes in our church columbarium. It is in our chapel and I can go and sit and be with him. I also kept some here at home in an urn and have a necklace too.It is definitely YOUR decision, whatever feels right to you. You are not selfish.
    Holly
  • Reply #7 11/02/09  9:08pm
    I thank you all who have replied and made such thoughtful suggestions. It helps me to know that other mom's have had the same experience but what has been most comforting is a theme that I keep reading and that it is my decision and I should decide to do what I feel would be best for my heart and peace of mind. I think I need to ask myself what would Nigel want .....where would he want to be..... Hugs, love and peace to all of you and to those who might reply in the future.
    Anne
  • Reply #8 11/03/09  3:10pm
    I also am hanging onto my daughter's ashes. My husband and I have been kind of nomadic for the past decade. We are lifelong New Yorkers who decided to give Seattle a try in 2000 (my husband is in heavy construction, somewhat of a nomadic trade). Corrie was 12 when we moved to Seattle so she came of age there and has many very close friends and happy memories there. However she was truly joyful and at home in Evanston, IL where she went to school at Northwestern U. for the past two years (she would have been a senior this year). She has hundreds of friends there who love her dearly and painted three rocks in her memory on the shore of Lake Michigan (a tradition at Northwestern). And then she was killed in Maine where she was a camp counselor for the summer. She was cremated in a tiny town in Maine so we could carry her home to Seattle with us on the plane (some macabre and oddly humorous stories about that one...) But then my husband and I had been planning on relocating to Nevada where he has been working on a project to build a bridge over the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas for the past two years. Corrie was going to fly home to Nevada rather than Seattle at the end of camp. Anyway ~ she is here with us in Nevada in an urn that we may or may not replace with something more "Corrie" like (couldn't find any at the time). And, I too, find the thought of burying her in a cold dark cemetery or even scattering her ashes over Lake Michigan as my husband suggested, just too sad and lonely. My parents will be in upstate NY where I grew up. My husband's parents are in Westchester just a bit north of NYC. And we have not yet selected a final resting place for ourselves. We also are inclined, at least for the foreseeable future, to bring Corrie with us. She always loved being cozy.
  • Reply #9 11/03/09  6:12pm
    Thank you, mominhenderson, for sharing your feelings on this subject....it comforts me to know that other mom's feel like I do.....
  • Reply #10 11/03/09  6:28pm
    It's very comforting and reassuring to me as well. I was beginning to feel like a freak!

    Thanks!

    Debbie, Corrie's Mom

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