Monday, June 16, 2014

The Box


I put a blue sticky note on it so the movers wouldn't pack it. I carefully carried it to the car, hefting its astonishing weight, and placed it gently in the back seat.

Alone for a few moments at the new place, I picked it up again, and carried it close to my body up to the new bedroom and found its new spot where it snugly fits. I closed the door to the closet, pressed my hand against the door and then my forehead, breathed in...out. I sent it thoughts. Gratitude, disbelief, anger and a remnant of the shock I felt in every cell that day three years ago.

 Memories flashed through my mind, a succession of snapshots. Our first apartment together, our second and third apartments too, and then finally our house. Our beautiful country house. The house I came home to without him. The house he labored over and loved. The house his ashes, in this oaken box, came home to several days later. His carbon, his bone fragments, in a plastic bag which is tucked into a heavy wooden box: hard, and cold to touch and unreasonably heavy.

My last thought as I made this strange moment into a small ceremony to honor him and us and our great loss, was that it was time for even his ashes to be free.

It is time.

No longer trapped in a box but back to the earth where they belong.

I don't need them to feel closer to him anymore.

They don't feel imbued with as much power. They are inert to me now. He is not there, in that box. He is securely in my memories and my heart.

There's no grasping anymore. He had to go on in a place where I can't be. Our paths split on that day.

Those ashes in that box do not bring me closer to him. My heart does. And it always will.


  1. Just moved his ashes out, too. I've been dispersing them for 4+ years, bit by bit, in our fav places, still have a goodly amount to go. Gets easier each time I do it. Soon there will be none left, and I've become ok with that. Wherever I go, he is always with me, don't need this physical reminder anymore.

  2. This Saturday will be three years since the love of my life died suddenly of a heart attack. My husband was a retired USAF officer and a fighter pilot who flew missions in Vietnam. His ashes lie in a national cemetery among thousands of his fellow veterans. The first year after he died, I existed in shock; the second year was worse as I hated my new life without him. Now, I live with pain and a dull ache surrounding my heart. I'm grateful to have found Widow's Voice and Widow's Village where so many understand this hellish journey of grief and who share their thoughts and recovery from so much pain.

    1. Hello, I do understand yr's bleak for us? But there's always Hope..for whatever reasons we were chose to walk this road.after 6 yrs still walking..never never in this lifetime did I see me widowed at 51. 61-71-81.. Not's a journey I would. Not wish for anyone..I hv found strength in lookn back. By that I mean my ancestors..God blessed them they survived.. Widows and widowers, with way less of anything to actually made me grieve in different way..after I started to think if how it was for them..they had nothing sometimes no one.. Horrific I'm sure..I feel I owe it to them to b strong an go on..because that's where they operated from..Gods blessings to u.

  3. Wow, wow, wow. Beautiful. <3

  4. Approaching 5 years post loss. His ashes in an urn. He didn't want to be "split up". His words, not mine.

  5. part of my husband's ashes are in the Veteran cemetery back home in Ohio. part of them in "his closet" in our bedroom. when I go to the beach in August I will take a small baggie of them with me to scatter at sunset on his birthday.when I can get away from daughter and her family 19 months this month

  6. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful

  7. My son broke the urn. Thankfully I had already scattered the ashes. Oh the things we never think we will experience.

  8. My son broke the urn. Thankfully I had already scattered the ashes. Oh the things we never think we will experience.