Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Support Group & Leia's Ashes

I went today to the first meeting of a grief support group that has started in my town. It was for anyone who has suffered a loss. There were seven people at this meeting and all of their stories of loss were heartbreaking. Many had lost spouses and some quite recently. Some were experiencing the loss of an older child, parent, and grandparent. One attendee was able to share that her daughter had experienced the loss of a baby at 36 weeks due to a car accident and it was just the way it happened for this person and their family, I cannot imagine. One was struggling with not only a loss but recovering from a form of cancer. So much pain and loss. So little time. I think of our loss and what some of these other people have experienced and how they are coping. So devastating to hear.

The leader of the group brought up how sometimes loss can make you go back and look at other losses you've had in your life. This is true for me. I have been doing a lot of thinking about other members of my family both living and those not with us anymore. I think about what I would like to tell them and make sure they know how much I care and love them. I also think about the possibility of losing them. Ever since we lost Leia I have been afraid of losing others close to me. Tonight will be hard because my hubs has traveled about four hours away for work and won't be back home till late tomorrow night. I am waiting right now for a call from him to let me know that he has gotten safely to his destination. I worry so much now about something happening to him and what I would do without him. It is an awful thing to think about but this is how I live my life now. I wonder what is around the corner and how I will handle it. I have no optimism or hope. I no longer live looking forward to anything. I just take each day and see how I am feeling that day.

Lastly, and this is the hardest thing I've dealt with today. My beautiful Leia's ashes were delivered via certified mail from the crematory. She has ironically arrived home on a Tuesday (day of week she was delivered still) and on a day when my hubs will not be home. I have not opened the package. I cannot go there today. It is something I will wait to do with my hubs when he gets back home. At one time we thought we would take her ashes to the ocean but now I am thinking I would like to keep them with us and maybe in a special container designed for ashes. I need to talk it over with my hubs and see how he is feeling about this change of plans. I am glad Leia's ashes have arrived, I just wish it could have been on a day when her Daddy was here.

Love you always Leia Grace.


  1. (huge hug). Receiving our babies ashes was bittersweet. I was so happy to have him home with us, but sad because it was confirmation that this whole thing was real.

    We've decided to hold onto our ashes until we're in our forever home, and possibly even beyond then. My husband and I have both discussed wanting to be cremated after our own deaths, and perhaps the urns all be kept together, whether the ashes are buried side-by-side, or whether we'd be spread all around.

    It's a hard thing to figure out, but we just weren't ready to sort it out yet, and this was our best solution for all of this.

  2. Wow, what a relief to have her ashes, but how tough at the same time. Thinking of you! I am trying a new support group tonight. Fingers crossed!

  3. I never thought I'd be a person to keep someone's ashes.. until they were Kristen's. We've decided that she will stay with us, and when I die... she'll be buried with me.
    And I know what you mean by no optimism.... it's hard to get excited about anything anymore.

  4. Thanks everyone for your kind words and comments. Hubs has made it to his destination. My friend will be here soon to have dinner with me. I am so fortunate for everyone in my life.

  5. I can relate to your words in two ways. Firstly, my hubby travels a lot for work and I am completely paranoid now that something will happen to him. Even when he is home and not snoring, I kick him to make sure he's still breathing. I think you fears of future losses are totally normal. Either that or we are both just a bit loopy.

    Secondly, the day we picked up our son's ashes from the crematorium was one of the hardest days of my life. It made everything so final. So don't feel bad about not opening them until your hubby gets home. This is not something you should do alone.

    As far as what to do with his ashes. My therapist gave us some great advice. Don't rush your decision. You can decide now, or wait a week, or wait a month, or wait a year. There is no timeline for this. You have time to process and make your decision.


  6. Hugs to you. I know for me, when we recieved Addie's ashes, it was a hughe relief to finally have her home. I hope, in a way, you will have some sort of peace from having her where she belongs. I know it is not the way we pictured bringing our babies home, but, at least in some small way, they are home now.

  7. You need friends today.

    That grief group makes me so sad. I just get sooo sad thinking about the losses of others now that I have been to my bottom point. I feel for them so much deeper. We are not alone and sometimes that's the worst part.

    Your fears are completely normal (as I've learned with my own concerns about husband safety). Write a lot. Call a lot of people. Get out of the house if you can when he's gone. I don't love the state of my life right now either. It just plain sucks. :(

    As for ashes... our son is in an urn shaped like a heart. It's blue and says "Baby Wilson" on the bottom. With a printed out piece of tape. Makes me cringe a little. I don't love it. I don't hate it. It's my son after all. But I love knowing he is with me. Of course he didn't "fit" in the urn. That makes me sick to think of. Part of him is in the heart and the other "part" is in a little box with heartbreaking information on the outside. A printed label from the crematorium saying he was cremated on 12/9/10, 4 days post birth.

    Such a sickening realization... but I kiss him every morning (I know, something kinda gross, but I love him more than my life itself) and talk to him as I walk downstairs as he sits in our living room next to a candle I think smells like he would-- a little like a baby. :)

    Super long, but I encourage keeping him. I just feel so good having him WITH me as close as I can when considering he isn't alive. Used to think that was creepster when people had urns in their home, but they can't judge when they haven't experienced the death of a child.

  8. I hope you find some comfort and support at your grief group. I am so grateful that we have a group where I live also.

    Like you said, the optimism and hope are gone. I am trying really hard to get some back, but it's difficult when so much has gone wrong. I hope one day you will find some again.

    I am glad that you finally have Leia's ashes, it must be nice to have her home, too bad your husband has to be gone.

    I also understand the fears of him being gone and okay. My husband is gone for work 3 weeks at a time and just left the other day. It used to not bother me, but after losing Liam I never want him to leave for fear something will happen.

    Thanks for the comments on my blog and just know I am thinking of and Leia always

  9. Support groups can be wonderful - I have found much support from blog friends, too. I'm so sorry that Leia's ashes came when her daddy wasn't home - sorry that she is not with you and there is a need for ashes. I would wait, too, to see if you really want to keep her at home or do something else. (((HUGS)))