It’s been a bit over a month since we buried our son’s ashes. We had a short ceremony with family (including his girlfriend, who counts as family). The day was sunny and it was as beautiful as you could want. It was a nice respectful ceremony and things went well. We went out to eat together afterwards and it was a nice cheerful meal with good conversation.
We had Jon cremated and from that time until then we had his urn sitting on our fireplace hearth. That was fine for my wife and I, but made it hard for others to grieve. People need to be able to go somewhere and have something tangible to see. I didn’t want to give him up though, I wanted to keep him at home forever. After a while I realized that was terribly selfish. I saw that people needed a grave site to go to. They wouldn’t say it, but I could see it and could read into what they were saying. Nobody pushed it, and even after we bought the plots they said, “Do it when you’re ready”, but I could see that people wanted it. I realized that it was very important for everybody and I made plans.
I didn’t think it’d affect me much given that we’ve had him at home for so long. In fact my wife and I talked about it the night before and I specifically said that I didn’t think it’d bother me.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The day of the ceremony my wife and I rode to the cemetery with her parents. I held onto the urn tightly the whole way. When we got to the cemetery we were standing around waiting for everybody and I wouldn’t let it out of my hands. We then walked to the grave site and there was a place to set the urn. I was the last one there, and I started crying as I slowly walked up. My hands shook as I set the urn down. It was really hard to walk away, but the great thing is now people (including me) can go somewhere and grieve. I know we made the right decision in getting this done as it will help everybody.
I go there about twice a week. I sit there and cry and talk to him. I know others are going because there’s been other flowers and other signs that people are visiting (myself and somebody else writes “Jon” in the dirt, the headstone hasn’t been delivered yet). I’m glad people are able to go somewhere to grieve, to remember and to help themselves through whatever they need.
Our boy is now at rest. We have some of him with us, which is good. I now see a void on the hearth, but I know that he’ll always be here with us and he’ll live on forever in our hearts and memories.