How do we deal with our sorrow at our loss? How do we reconcile that with our desire to continue living? How do we reconcile the joy that our love brought to our life, and the emptiness at no longer having access to that particular, unique, individual’s joy at their own life, and the halo that they brought to our and others’ lives?
Do we joyfully send the departed on their way? Do we send them off and think not about them? How do we remember them? Where do we remember them? When?
Do we need still, silent and sacred spots to engage in when we need solace? When we need to converse with our loves?
Do we need to proclaim our love and our loving memories? Are our attachments permanent? Do we need to remember (souvenir in French)?
What kind of ritual do we need and desire?
I lost my life love four months ago, and waves of sorrow can suddenly come upon me. And many, many smiles too. We lived together here in San Francisco for 29 years. This city was our home and our affection, and it’s difficult to arrange for Rico to be close to me. There are only two spots where one can be legally interred in San Francisco: The Golden Gate National Cemetery in the Presidio and the Neptune Society’s Columbarium (the former Odd Fellows Cemetery).
His ashes rest in our leaded glassed hutch. Until I have the emotional space to inter his ashes they’ll rest there. I’m waiting for that mental space to come tome. And I don’t want to ignore his ashes and leave them unattended-to forever. I have my father’s ashes, which I received a week to the day before Rico died. My father died 15 years ago and his ashes were a detail for his widow, which never got handled. My father’s ashes will be another ritual, which I’d discussed with my family in the days before my love died. We know where we are going to scatter them, per his wishes.
Me, I need a physical place where I know Rico is at rest, a place that he enjoyed. A place that I can visit and speak with my heart.
I believe that each passing is unique unto us, just as we are all unique in life. But we have universal needs for remembrance, for solace. How do you plan to achieve that unique solace?