On Tuesday we returned to the crematorium to scatter my dad's ashes. There were just four of us, me and Mick, Eleanor and my brother. We were lucky with the weather, it was a nice day and the sun shone for us.
We have a natural rock stone at the crematorium and though the ashes aren't interred, we've scattered my sister's, my mum's and now my dad's ashes there. There's memorial plaques for my sister and my mum attached to the stone and we're in the process of having one added for my dad. We visit the crematorium often to take flowers, it's so tranquil there in the beautiful grounds whilst we're lost in our thoughts.
I knew that the grieving for my dad wouldn't start properly until the funeral was over, what I didn't really expect was that the grief for my mum would play such a big part too, though thinking it over, I suppose my mum's death was such a short time ago that I'm still grieving for her as well as my dad now. A close family friend told me, in the days after my dad's death, that she had felt so strange after her second parent died, and I'm feeling some of that too. It's such a peculiar feeling, one I can't articulate very well, but, well, I suppose I feel alone. Looking back at times I shared with my parents when I was growing up are my memories alone, there's only me here now to remember them. Even in the short space of time it's been since my dad's death there have been things from the past that I've wanted to know, or wanted some clarification on, and there's no one there now to ask.
We've been clearing out my dad's flat. We can't sell it until probate comes through so there's no rush, we're just doing an hour here and there, that's all we can manage at one time as that throws up so many emotions too. It's terrible walking into an empty home where my parents once lived and remembering them so full of life there. It also feels as though the family has lost its anchor point now.
The memories I have of my parents, and my sister who died twenty one years ago, will never be lost, they'll be with me always. I don't expect my grief to just disappear overnight, it's early days and I'm sure many more tears are yet to fall, but in time I want to be able to remember them all with a smile. We were a happy family, we had wonderful times together and I don't want to look back on them with sadness in my heart, that would be doing them a disservice. I know they'd want me to be happy remembering the good times we shared.
I feel your sadness Jo but you have the right attitude, be gentle with yourself it takes time. The memorial plaque sounds like a lovely idea you can visit and remember all your family together in that one special place. They will always be with you, I talk to my Mum and Dad all the time. xxReplyDelete
I know what you mean when you say you feel like the family has lost it's anchor. After my dad died everything seemed to change within our family. It's still very early days for you all, take care of yourself. xReplyDelete
My dad died in 1974 and when my mum died in 2004 I felt the same as you are describing now. It really was the end of an era and, although I was in a loving relationship, for the first time I was without the unconditional love of a parent. As you say it is hard to describe the feeling, but it does get easier. The sadness will fade in time and your good memories will never leave you. Take care xxReplyDelete
It's good that you have those happy memories. Be kind to yourselves.
Best wishes and a virtual hug
Thank you for sharing your heartfelt and beautiful words with us Jo. I cannot begin to imagine what it is like for you right now.ReplyDelete
The crematorium looks like a beautiful and peaceful place for you to go and remember your family, the memories and the happiness that you all shared together.
Thinking of you at this difficult time xxxx
It is sad to think of the happy times you shared with loving parents. I did for a while but now I remember with joy thoses times and have tried to recreate them for my own children and grandchildren. I that way lovely memories are passed on. Blessings to you and your family as you re-adjust.ReplyDelete
It doesn't matter how old you are you do feel the loss differently when both parents have passed. Technically you are orphaned and despite having siblings you've lost the ability to ask questions about your childhood and other things.ReplyDelete
I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you just now. It's very early days, so be gentle on yourself. XReplyDelete
Hugs, Jo. As my daughter said to me just the other day - it's hard being an adult! Time won't heal the sadness but it will ease it a little.ReplyDelete
Thinking of you at this difficult time and hope that your happy memories will live through and sustain you in the future.ReplyDelete
Cling onto those positive happy memories.ReplyDelete
The happy memories overtaking the sad ones will come in time & everyone does it at their own pace. My dad has been gone for over 3 years now & I still sometimes find it hard to believe that I won't see him again. And it's sort of surreal looking at old photos, especially when he was young and vibrant - it gives me both a good and sad feeling at the same time.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful place to lay your dad, mum and sister to rest - it looks so incredibly peaceful and serene. Thinking of you & your family XOXO
What a peaceful, lovely place to visit. I am so sorry about the loss of your family members. I hope your happy memories will bring you comfort. I have been reminded that I must make sure to label old photos and record some family history to pass on to my own children so that when I am gone, they will have these items to help them remember too.ReplyDelete
The crematorium looks very nice and peaceful.ReplyDelete
Remember the good times.
The memories never leave and are so special.
Thinking of you as you take time to re-adjust.
All the best Jan
Oh Jo, Thank you for being open with us and sharing your thoughts. I think once both parents have died there is a big change. I read a book a friend sent me: the Orphaned Adult. It was worth the time to read it.ReplyDelete
I hope your memories are stirred by those spirits that are still with you and will always be. Hugs to you as you grieve. It is hard work
Jo, I am so sorry the pain is so acute. I don't think you had time to grieve your mom because there was so much to take care of with your dad's health. Now you have time to grieve both of them, which makes it twice as hard. Stay well, take your time and take care of yourself.ReplyDelete
Hard times Jo. Sending you a virtual hug and support.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you have a beautiful, quiet place to go to "be with" your family. I never thought about it before, but after reading your words, I'm glad we made my parents go to a retirement home for their final months/year. My sister and I were able to say goodbye to the only house we'd grown up in while the folks were still alive. I think that may have made saying goodbye to the our parents a little bit easier. I'm also sure it helped me because I would not have been able to part with a single piece of their junk if we were cleaning out the house after the fact - and believe me, they had a LOT of junk! :) My heart goes out to you and you remain in my thoughts.ReplyDelete
The crematorium looks so peaceful and lovely. I hope that your memories will give you comfort and peace.ReplyDelete
It's a difficult job but at least you have all those wonderful memories and know they are now all together in a lovely peaceful spot.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about having questions that no-one now can answer.ReplyDelete
You and Mick are the anchor point now.ReplyDelete
Sending you best wishes
What a beautiful place! Ahhh, it's so hard losing your parents, we become orphans and yes, not having them around to clarify things is hard. I hope time helps, take it easy and just go one day at a time. Hugs.xxxReplyDelete
Hi,everybody has really said it all for me.I do understand, and just wish you healing times and all the best for the future.Thinking of you and sending Huggles.xxReplyDelete