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Grieving with cremation

LonelyOnly
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2016

I just wanted to put this out there in case anyone else is experiencing (or has experienced) this. My mom passed away about a week and a half ago. Both sides of my family typically do burials after death so this was my first experience with it. It's already so hard to lose someone close to you, but to just get a call on a Monday that her "cremains" are ready to pick up...

Being a task-oriented type person, I immediately thought, "Well, I'm already out running errands." Then I froze. I sat there at the gas pump and cried and freaked out and thought..."Should I wash the car? Do I need to go home and take a shower and put on nicer clothes? I can't just GO pick up my dead mother's ashes like it's just another errand." I couldn't make sense of it and just went back into task mode and picked them up. 

My experience may be a little different just because I basically went straight to a crematory instead of dealing with a funeral home because it was so much more expensive. Maybe there would have been more pomp with a funeral home? Nothing at all against the crematory... they were perfectly respectful and great to deal with.

And as far as closure goes, there will be a sort of scattering ceremony and I will keep a portion of the ashes in a nice urn when I get one. We held a memorial service and everything so there are different things to do for closure with a cremation.

I just wanted to tell my story because I know a lot of people are opting for cremation these days and it may be helpful to know what you're in for. 

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

My husband and I are the first in either of our families to choose cremation and this is interesting reading.  We need to be sure to include our grown children in this as they obviously have no experience, either.

 

LonelyOnly
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2016

I guess it's something that our culture will start to become more familiar with, but it would be really good to talk to your grown kids about it now. I guess it would be nice if the crematories/funeral homes delivered the ashes to your home or church or something. That way you would at least be in a comfortable space in which to process your grief, and adds a little sanctity to the process of "obtaining" your loved one's remains.  

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

... For my mom, I had to sign some papers and they gave them to me (in the container) in a shopping bag like you'd get if you shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue (without the logo). Pretty funny. When I picked up my spouse's cremains, I sat in the consult room to sign the papers, then they gave the box to me in a bag (not as fancy as Mom's, but that was OK). 

"Mom" rode in the trunk for about 1000 miles while I drove back to the family plot. "Spouse" sat on the back corner of the desk for almost a year until we made the family trip to scatter the cremains. 

LonelyOnly
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2016

No bag for me. Just the box. Put it in the front seat and fastened the seat belt. I still gripped the box almost the whole way home until my hand hurt.

here4lfe
Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

I had no expectations of what it would be like, so when the funeral director brought my wife's cremains out it was a shock. It was just a dark blue thick plastic bag. They put it in a shopping bag and away I went.

Her 'internment' was at another site 300 miles away and I was leaving the next morning. I put her cremains in a seat in the dining room thinking no one would go in there. Of course my children found it. Anyway, I placed her in the trunk for the drive down, and we put her in her final resting place the next day.

Ladylacy
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2012

My husand I both decided that cremation was what we wanted and when he passed I had him cremated.  We both didn't want a service but our sons did.  So we had a small service at the funeral home after cremation.  I have the ashes in a beautiful carved box, and our sons each have a small contained with some of their father's ashes, and when I pass then the boys will scatter our ashes from the highest peak in the Smokeys.  In fact one day shortly afterwards, I went back to the funeral home and paid for my cremation only.  After the service it was hard to put that box in the car and bring it home but it sits in the bedroom waiting for me and when I am upset I can still talk to him and he is with me.

My mother passed away 12 years ago and she is buried in another state 12 hours away.  I hate to say it but my siblings and I haven't been back to her grave site.  And yes I feel guilty but like my older sister says it is only a grave and she is not there.  None of our sons live close by so we decided on cremation.  More and more people are deciding on cremation because the cost is so much less than burial, but then again it is the person's choosing.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

Have made arrangements for the crematorium to blend our remains. Forty years together so far so it only seems right to us.

There is a garden at our church made specifically for the purpose so we will go there. Just a block from our own home and on the mountain where I grew up.

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1320
Joined: Apr 2009

This is a difficult one for me. A year after I lost my husband, my duaghter's life neared it's end. She and I had never discussed her final wishes. It is probably not something you often discuss with your child. I became aware of them from her husband. During the last 2 weeks, she was rarely lucid enough to speak coherently. The final night was horrific. She did not go peacefully. She lay in the great room where her bed had been placed so she could watch her horses through the big windows. I had held her and then went upstairs to dress before relatives arrived. When I returned, her body had been removed. I had not said goodbye and she was gone. There was no viewing, only a memorial service. I never saw her sweet face again, only a beautuful carved box with a decoration of horses filled with what had once been my beautiful child. She is buried in her church cemetery, 2,000 miles from me. I do not disagree with cremation, but in my already devastated emotional state, it was another knife to my heart.

here4lfe
Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

No words to express.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

That must have been, Wolfen. I am sorry it happened that way.

Your beautiful child is alive and well in your heart and always will be.

Hugs.

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