Social Question

Shippy's avatar

Did you ever keep the ashes of someone you loved?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) July 26th, 2012

I have, and I feel it is time to let them go.

The real question is though, how did it affect you? in a good or bad way. Did you feel a release?

Also is it OK, to just do it with a few special people, as I didn’t have a funeral for my mom at the time of her death.

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19 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have the ashes of my two dogs on my TV shelf. They’ll be there while I’m breathing. I don’t need to let them go.

Kayak8's avatar

For many people, it is significant to put the cremains in a place that they can return to and visit. That may be a cemetery or other place with a marker or means for you to identify exactly where they are. For others, releasing the ashes into the wind in a special place brings meaning.

Not knowing when your loved one died, it is possible that it predated the tradition of pulverizing the ashes to make them more like ashes and less like recognizable elements of the loved one (eg., teeth). With one of my dogs, the ashes included a very obvious spinal bone. For this reason, you may wish to have someone other than you remove the ashes from the plastic bag if you are planning to toss them into the wind . . .

creative1's avatar

My mother has my fathers ashes in a china closet at her new home with my step father and he’s been gone since 1986. It was the best she could do for his wish to be stuffed and stood in the corner. Of course we believe he was just kidding around but at least its close to what I remember him always telling my mom if he died before her. Its in her will that his ashes will be buried in the casket with her.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My heart goes out to you @Shippy. Deciding if and when to let go of a loved one’s ashes, be that person human or animal, usually is an emotional decision.

I have never personally kept the ashes of someone I loved. There has always been direction given on what to do with them. The only ones I would consider holding onto are my SO’s, if he didn’t give a specific directive. My request would be that, when I die, I too am cremated, our ashes mixed together, and then tossed in the woods.

LuckyGuy's avatar

My neighbor spread the ashes of his parents around the base of a tree he had planted a few years earlier. He said he felt they were helping the tree grow in a small way. The tree is doing quite well.

I am sorry for your loss.

majorrich's avatar

A little bit of the ashes of my father wouldn’t fit into his urn and I kept them in a small jar for a while. I released them while flying over the Scout Camp he so loved. The FAA kind of frowns on this practice, but it wasn’t very much.

Shippy's avatar

I have the ashes of my mom, dad and my girl friend, they all died quite close together.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Oh crap Shippy. I lost a group of people close together. It hurts. I’m sorry for your loss. I was a little cold with my first comment.

Shippy's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe It’s OK, I didn’t notice , and anyway everyones experience is different. I am also sorry for your loss.

tinyfaery's avatar

My mom is in a box on my piano. People often pick up the box and ask me what it is. I always say, “that’s my mom”. People always react strangely. I find it humerous. As if my mom was actually in the box. Haha.

I also have my baby boy Mushroom in a little box. I’d eventually like to get a piece of jewelry where I can store some of his ashes. He was my little guy and I will miss him forever.

zenvelo's avatar

My girlfriend had her dad’s cremains in a box in the garage for a long time, they had an awful relationship most of her life. It took about a dozen years for her to get resolved (through therapy) to the point she could say good bye without anger, and I took her to a place where she could disperse the ashes.

The problem with having them around is there is too much risk they’ll get knocked over and spilled or the container is damaged.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yep. My great aunt is in an urn in the dining room along with about 30 cremated pets.

Bellatrix's avatar

My husband had his sister’s ashes in a box on our hall table for quite a while. They were sent through the post and we just hadn’t moved them. He was waiting for an opportunity to take her ashes to the place she wanted to be spread. Interestingly, when we managed to organise the trip and went there – he was much more emotional than he thought he would but also at the last moment decided he wanted to have half his sister’s ashes placed with his mother’s ashes in a different city entirely. We haven’t organised that yet so half his sister is still with us.

When she was in the box on the hall stand a visitor came and was looking for somewhere to put a large parcel down and without thinking I said “oh just move [insert sister’s name]”. We were quite used to her being there. The visitor was quite shocked!

Thanks for the question because you have reminded me we really must finalise this process next time we are in Sydney.

tedibear's avatar

I have the cremains of my cat Elizabeth. They are in a lovely floral tin on a bookshelf in the living room. When Rishy and Cloudy die, I assume we will do the same for them.

My mom died 8 years before my dad. We had purchased a double urn at her death so that they could be together when the time came. The funeral home kept her until my dad passed. Then we buried both of them in one plot with one headstone and both names. Whenever I go to that town, I stop at the cemetery and say hello.

blueiiznh's avatar

Nope. I have memories of them which is so much more valuable to me.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

My great-aunt, great-uncle, grandmother, and possibly one or two others are in a closet at my parents’. I’ve been telling them they need to put some cenotaphs up on the inside wall. :p

majorrich's avatar

I have a wax mold of my hand posed in a one-fingered salute that I want my ashes mixed with plaster and cast into. My wife is being very resistant to that idea.

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