June 2, 2010

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 11:32 pm by letterstoelias

Inspired by Dan’s humorous account of trying to get Michael’s ashes into a piece of jewelry designed as a tiny urn (something that I had planned to do for myself and the girls one day, though may be second guessing now after reading that ….=), I thought I may write and share something that – though not funny at the time – I can look back on and laugh at myself for.

I don’t know what brought it on exactly.  It could have been because I was looking at photos of when I spread some of your ashes on the anniversary of your death.  It could have been because of our wedding anniversary.  But at any rate, the other day I was suddenly struck with this overwhelming regret paired with horror at the fact that I had spread some of your ashes.

I wouldn’t say it was a full blown panic attack – but I started to worry about and be angry with myself for the fact that I had ‘separated’ you.  It was as if I had a momentary lapse and thought perhaps one day we could use all your ashes and somehow magically bring you back and now some of you was missing.

I also started to worry about what ‘part’ of you I took out.  Seriously.  These are the things that can run through your mind when you lose the love of your life I guess, “Oh my god!  What if I took out one of his shoulders!  I love his shoulders!  How could I throw that in the ocean!  What was I thinking!?!?”  You get the idea.

The plan is to give some of the ashes to you Mom (if she wants), each of your brothers (if they want), and for each of the girls eventually anyhow, so I’ve always known you would be ‘separated’.  The amount I spread was tiny – probably not even a finger’s worth (sorry for the morbid humour – but I know my widow/er friends get it, and I’m sure you would laugh too), and I’m now over the worry that struck me and thankfully it was a very brief episode.  It’s just funny how these things crop up at times.  I like to think of myself as rather logical and somewhat intelligent most of the time – but grief seems to suck a great deal of that out of me now and then.

The girls have really been missing you these past couple of days.  Last night we were looking at a book with a photo of two sisters zipped up in the same jacket.  C asked me why they did that, and I said, “Probably because it’s fun”.  Then I told her about how we have a picture of E zipped up in Daddy’s jacket.  “I wanna do dat wit Daddy!” she said excitedly, then her own realization hit and her little face changed as I could see her figuring out that it wouldn’t happen.  We talked about it for a couple of minutes and she said she felt sad that she couldn’t.  I then remembered that we actually also had a photo of her zipped up in your jacket, sleeping, at about 6 months of age from when we went to Harrison Hot Springs.  I asked her if she wanted to see it, and she did.

(I remember that day so well – man was it cold!  She screamed while I was trying to carry her, but once inside your jacket she fell asleep as cozy as can be)

I brought out the computer and showed her the photos – a little series of you trying to get her out and keep her asleep.  Her little face lit up and it made her so happy to see that she, too, got to be zipped up in your jacket at one time.  I’m still sad for her that she won’t get the opportunity to do it again, but at least she then was focused on enjoying the existing photo.  After she was asleep and while E was still awake, I left the room for a few minutes – then E was creeping down the hallway and said that she was feeling sad from missing you.  I went back to bed with her and we had a chat about how hard it is to miss people we love.

Tonight as we were getting ready for bed, and C was saying goodnight to you and excitedly telling you that she had cake today (which she hadn’t even told me about yet – they were at Buz and Sian’s today), she was waiting for you to answer back.  She kept saying, “Daddy?  Daddy?”  Then she turned to me and said, “I want to hear Daddy.”  I teared up instantly.  E tried to help out by telling her that if she was quiet and listened really hard, she could hear you because Angels can talk too but they’re just really quiet.  Then she started to cry.

We all just snuggled in close and shared in missing you.  C fell asleep quickly, and E and I talked a little more about missing you and held on to each other tight for a while.  The beauty of a 5yr old though – before I left the room, she sat up asking for one more big hug and kiss, then said she was still missing you.  Then, as she was playing with my hair, her next sentence was, “Hair doesn’t have any feeling” and explained how when you touch hair it doesn’t hurt, but it’s your scalp that hurts if you pull hair, etc.  Three hours later, our conversation about missing you is still playing on repeat in my mind, along with a thousand other thoughts of missing you.  It’s hard not to feel guilty in saying so (and I’m not saying she misses you any less, it’s just completely different), but sometimes I wish I could switch my brain off from missing you once in a while.


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Dan Cano said,

    Hi Chelsea,

    I too sometimes wish I could turn off missing Michael. Although lately I feel like even when I am not consciously missing him, I am still subconsciously feeling his absence, which is likely why I walk around feeling so depressed all the time. People sometimes ask if I’m okay, or what’s on my mind. I just give a quick answer, which is usually, “oh it’s nothing, just day dreaming.”

    Other wouldn’t know what to say I responded about thought of Michael everytime they asked. When I do respond that way they look so helpless and sad, that I feel like I need to help them out.

    These are sweet and tender moments that you share with your girls. I like that they get to experience their dad by having these remembrance conversations. It will help them to remember as they grow older.

    My love to you and your girls.


  2. bridie said,

    I read this and Dan’s post and found them quite funny, then I imagined this conversation.

    Random stranger: “That is not funny, it is dark and morbid”
    Me: Really? You don’t find it funny? Not even a “widow” bit?

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