I apologize for bringing up such a sensitive subject, but I believe it warrants discussion and once you read the entire post you will understand why I think it is important to talk about.
My husband often talked about his wish to be cremated when something happened to him. He also joked that we should “put him in a pine box and carry it in the back of his pickup truck to the nearby creek.” Another remark concerned his motorcycle. He used to say he wanted us to hire a backhoe to dig a big enough hole to drop him in with his motorcycle.
People often make remarks about how they want to leave this world, so how do you know what they really want? After my husband was diagnosed with cancer, my son bravely broached the subject and asked him if he was serious about cremation. He was and we made sure to fulfill his wishes.
The thing is, you don’t think about the aftermath. When you have a loved one who is buried in a cemetery, you can go there to visit and to leave flowers. It’s a place you can go to feel closer to them. If your loved one is cremated and you have an urn full of ashes, you may not know just what to do to honor them on holidays like Memorial Day, Christmas or birthdays.
When the first Memorial Day approached, my son asked if maybe we could put a wreath or something in our back yard, under his dad’s favorite tree. It dawned on me, that we needed a place to visit and remember him. We created a rock memorial garden that sits right under the window of my office, so that I can look out on it.
I bought a beautiful water fountain to sit in the middle of it and I place a new heart shaped wreath in it every spring. Last year on Father’s Day, my granddaughter came and put a little flower arrangement in the Memorial Garden that said “Grandpa.”
Your memorial spot doesn’t have to be huge, or elaborate. Just be sure to make it quiet and peaceful, with enough room for you to place a chair beside it. Trust me, I have spent many hours lovingly tending that rock memorial garden and talking with my husband. It does help…
I would never go against a person’s wishes as to how they leave this earth, but I did want to point out some of the things you may be feeling if in fact you have had a loved one cremated, or if their wish is for you to do so. I never thought of these things until after words when I had to deal with them. I hope the Memorial Garden idea helps you as much as it did me.
My name is Donna and I am just and Everyday Woman trying to figure out this aging thing, I also get to figure out how to do the Widow's Walk through life. I lost my husband to cancer nearly four years ago, after being with him since I was 15-years old. He was always a big fan of my writing ability and I thought, "What better way to honor him, than to keep on writing and maybe be able to help someone else who is going down this same path.