Friday, February 26, 2010

Today I was grumpy. So grumpy, in fact, that when a friend and her kiddos came over for an already planned artdate, she politely suggested that they come another time. Glad I was able to snap out of it and that they stuck around. Anyway, physically I feel rotten but I knew there was something else going on and this evening, as I lay crying on the couch because no was was able to rub my throbbing foot, I realized the true root of my problem. Sunday is the fourth anniversary of mom's death. Last year was not too difficult. So, logically, I was thinking that this year would be even easier but I'm thinking maybe not so much. Of course, last year I was preparing for the birth of a baby boy and so I was rather distracted. That might have something to do with the difference. But honestly, I think it's the number. The four. I had decided at some point that on the 4th anniversary I would have finally obtained possession of her ashes. My big plan was to let the Donut pick out a plant or a tree and we would bury her placenta with my mom's ashes and have a special ceremony. I had this all planned out in my mind and it was lovely and special and was this perfect way to tangibly memorialize her. There was just something so poetic about the physicality of it all. But of course I don't have my mom's ashes and I'm no closer to having them than I was four years ago. One thing that I have learned through this experience is the whole burial/cemetery/grave marker makes more sense once you have experienced the death of a close loved one. I think that I would have particularly found it to be healing considering the way that her death and the aftermath played out. (I used to never understand why people buried their loved ones and then put up markers. Even made fun of it.) At any rate, I think that I've pieced together the mystery of why on earth I am feeling so totally nutso right now. Hopefully Sunday will be a nice peaceful family day. Maybe the kids and I will look through some old photos.


  1. Grief is complicated, isn't it? And it runs on a crazy time schedule. You can be fine one year, and feeling awful many years later.

    Do you think it will be possible to get your mom's ashes? I hope so.

    I'm one of those who's never understood the need for burial...that type of closure. But I haven't yet lost anyone super close to me. From the fact, that it usually is important people, I'm guessing maybe it's some kind of inborn trait we all have. And also, doesn't almost every culture have some type of death ritual. Even some animals have it. The bull ants of Australia actually have cemeteries.

  2. Hi Mandy, it was nice to hear from you! I was feeling grumpy today, too, and I didn't have a good reason. I hope you're able to have the kind of ceremony you wanted for your mom some day, or in some other meaningful way.

  3. So sorry for the rough day, Mandy. I completely get where you're coming from on the marker thing. I never understood it, either, until this past year. I lost my beloved grandfather, my uncle who was like a dad to me, and my younger cousin. Of the three, only my grandfather was buried, and I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me to sit on the ground where he lies and "talk" to him whenever I venture back to OK. As for my uncle and cousin, I feel the difference. There's no where to go - no symbolic place to commune with their spirits and my memories. And I miss them so. Does the graveside lessen the pain of losing him? No. But somehow it does fill a physical need and in that way, brings comfort. I'm so sorry for your loss. I wonder if a memory box or capsule buried under a special tree might help create a sense of having somewhere to go to be close to your mom again.

  4. I still grieve for the baby I lost. That baby would've turned 4 sometime right about now. I never really understood the need for a marker either until that loss, when I felt like I was left with nothing. Shortly afterward I ordered the poppy field painting that is on my living room wall as a place to mentally place the body that would've been. It helps me to have something to look at and remember that her soul still exists even though her body never got a chance to fully develop.

  5. You know, despite being the sort who REALLY doesn't get the whole burial plot thing (even after losing my mother this year and my grandfather a few years back I really don't get it)I know my extended family does and needs that. It is especially hard when you have been planning something that you believe will bring you peace only to discover when you get there that that is not available. We have been unable to move on due to issues with my stepfather and it has been so much of a struggle that I have had to distance myself from much of my normal online chatter-- especially since it is affecting us so much in so many different ways and I feel it is important not to talk about others online. I agree with Kimmie. It really doesn't HAVE to be her ashes. If you have something special that was special to her, even just something related to the tv shows you watched together or something else to make you think of her, and bury that and plant a tree I think it would help you a lot, and it would give your kids something special to remember her.

    And I hate when the grumpy thing sneaks up and you can't figure out where it came from. The issues with my stepdad keep digging that up despite my having a lot of peace with the loss of my mom-- there was so much about it that showed God's perfect timing that I can't dispute it and am grateful that she went when she did.


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