A year ago, a few family members met to plant in tree with most of the remains of the one we all lost. It was a cold, unplanned morning. No words or process was planned, with not one of us being the expert. We didn’t want to be there, meeting under these terrible circumstances. With the help of a tree planting expert, we planted a tree, taking turns pouring in ashes to say another unwanted goodbye.
When it was all done, I felt numb, sad, and alone as I drove away from the newly planted tree. The idea was that life could continue through the ash of death, and we’d put the tree in a place where we all wanted to visit. Except, I still hate to visit the tree and work hard at avoiding it, if truth be told.
A year later, I still struggle with the idea of my love’s ashes intertwined with the roots of the tree firmly planted in the ground. At first, I thought, “Maybe it’s because he loved Maine the most. Once the rest of the ashes are in Maine, I’ll feel better.”
This summer, the kids and I found a place to spread the ash in one of the many places he loved. I agonized for months, then weeks, then days, and hours about where to leave the remaining ashes. It was finally decided and the three of us did the task, alone and in private.
As we drove away from the other resting place, I cried, because it was still wrong. Nothing felt right, and still to this day does not.
“Why is this so hard? Why does it feel so wrong, when the wishes of the one were carried out?” I have wondered and wondered and wondered.
Now, on this day, I know why it feels so wrong. A healthy, vibrant man, that brought life to every room, who loved his family and could make anyone laugh in his presence shouldn’t be ashes to spread. We shouldn’t have to drive away from his resting place, and I can’t imagine ever being at peace with that.