Monday, February 11, 2019

Lacking Closure

Although I have thought of my mom everyday since she passed away and even the thought of her has kept me up some nights, I haven't done a lot of mourning. I miss her but I think I did a lot of my mourning over the past two and a half years when I found out her days were numbered. I think another part is that I haven't had the closure of putting her remains, in this case cremains, in their final resting spot.

I was very conflicted in the weeks after she died. My dad was going down to their cabin in Arkansas to get away and my brother and family were going to be there during that time as well. I on the other hand had the long standing trip to the Philippines. Before leaving, I talked to my dad and we had a talk about mom's ashes. I told him I wanted to be there when he spread them around and I thought it should be a family event. He agreed.

After we got back from our trip to the Philippines, we invited him up to our house to hear about his trip to Arkansas, plan his upcoming trip (more on that in subsequent posts) and to talk about our trip to the Philippines. During that conversation, he said that he had already scattered most of mom's ashes already. He said he got tired of looking at the box of ashes all the time and decided he needed to get them scattered. I understand this on some level and would have probably felt the same way but I was hurt.

However, there is still some left and another place in Arkansas that he still wants to scatter the remaining ashes so there is still some hope that I can be there when that happens. Also, some were put in a small urn and given to my maternal grandparents to keep and I have asked after they are "done" with them, (they are now in their late 80's) if I could have them back and put them in a small country cemetery near where we grew up and my dad still lives. Mom didn't want her body in a cemetery and wanted to be scattered out at several places and I feel that part is/will be honored. I don't think she would mind is just a small portion of her ashes are in the cemetery. I just feel that it will be a place where I can go and visit and know a piece of her is there. I also would like a headstone with her name on it so future generations can know that she did exist nearby even if the farm is no longer there. This feels more important now that the majority of her ashes are scattered but in areas where I won't know specifically where she is.

In a way I shouldn't be surprised at the outcome this far. My dad has always been one to not dwell on what others might feel or think. Mom was the one that would suggest things based on what someone might feel or think about something. Dad just went along with the flow. I just found all this out yesterday (as I write this post) and didn't sleep much last night. Instead I got up and worked on mom's smart phone. We can't figure out her passwords necessary to switch the phone over to my dad's number so he can graduate from a flip phone. I'm probably going to end up reformatting the thing but I'm first getting things off of it that might come in handy, namely her contacts. I guess I was naive and thought my mom wouldn't have all that many on there but after two hours of writing hundreds of names and phone numbers down on paper in case they get lost, I'm probably only halfway done.

Good for you mom!

8 comments:

Leigh said...

Closure is truly a journey, isn't it?

Kelly said...

There is no "one size fits all" for grieving or any of the processes that go along with losing a loved-one. And I've learned it can be different each time, depending on the relationship and the time in our own life.

Ed said...

Leigh - It is and I have more to add but I'll save that for another post in awhile.

Kelly - It is definitely been different than I had imagined for the last two and a half years. I'm not yet sure if that is a good or bad thing.

sage said...

It is always tough, but getting through this is important. For many people, having a "place" to go is important and glad you have kind of worked that our. Blessings!


www.thepulpitandthepen.com

Ed said...

Sage - I'll have another post sometime soon on that place.

Susan said...

In our family, no one seems to care what happens to their cremains. I have my own plans and I've written them in my will - the executor of which is my sister who will most closely follow my wishes. Still, I think the feelings and needs of survivors need to figure into the plan, too. I hope you can make peace with your mom's passing and all that follows.

Ed said...

Susan - Thank you! I have made peace and have another post that will get published soon on that subject.

Bob said...

Agree with Kelly that each loss is unique and brings a different type of grieving. And it’s true, when you know someone has a terminal illness, the grieving begins before the person is even gone. It sounds like you are taking healthy steps and working through the loss. It hurts like hell, that’s all there is to it, but it’s also necesssary. And you handled your dad’s actions admirably - acknowledging the hurt but moving on from it.