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Tripp's Ashes

Just over 10 years ago I sat in a living room where the ashes of someone I knew and loved sat on a side table. Up until that point I had only encountered urns in movies. In movies urns were always depicted to be creepy and morbid, or they were part of a comedy of errors ending up smashed on a floor.

The ashes on that table weren't there for a wake. They were part of that family's home, part of that family's daily life. I remember having trouble coming up with how I felt about it at the time. The part of me trained by movies to think that an urn is morbid, was confused by the part of me who loved the person contained in that box. It didn't feel morbid, but it did feel strange and I think it's because I wasn't sure how to act around that urn. I wasn't sure if I should acknowledge it or if I should even look at. Death was not something I had experience with, nor was it something that I talked about.  And because of this I was clueless when it came to how I was supposed to act around the dead.

Hugh and I had discussed what we would like done with our remains when we did up our will a few years ago. When Tripp died we felt good about our decision to cremate him, because we had already decided that both of us would be cremated as well.  Deciding on Tripp's final resting place was another story. We had NEVER talked about the possibility of one of our children dying. We didn't even know where to begin. One thing we knew immediately was that Tripp belonged with us. We knew his final interment would be right between ours. 

But where?

Martensville is where we live. We love it here and could see ourselves living here a long time, but we don't know that for sure. I can't stomach the idea of burying Tripp's ashes somewhere close to our current home and then having our lives take us somewhere else. I also couldn't imagine having them in our house. The idea made me uncomfortable. Even though I had experienced my own tragedy, I still didn't know how to act around death.

I remember sitting at our kitchen table the day after Tripp died, trying to brainstorm our options. After listening to our dilemma, my dad said, "There is no reason you have to decide anything right now. Tripp's ashes will be there when you decide." So that's exactly what we did. We made the decision not to decide.

The funeral home told us we could keep Tripp's ashes there until we made a decision and last week we brought Tripp's ashes home. I live with Tripp's death everyday and after a year and a half I feel more confident in my grief and because of this I feel comfortable around death. It felt right to bring him home. 

When we left the funeral home I shed a few silent tears as Hugh set the urn on my lap. For a brief second I thought, I'm holding my son. But quickly I realized that the cold, hard box was nothing like my son. We brought the urn home and tucked it away in a safe place. Some day, years from now we'll make a decision about all three of our final interments. 

Until then, we feel comfort in knowing Tripp's remains are with us.


  1. <3 What a difficult part of your journey.

    Bah. There are no words that feel right. So, here: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  2. Good for you Jordan! We brought Jaren home too and he is with us every day. Our thing was that we had so little time with him and we wanted him to still be with our family. We didn't want him burried alone and we wanted him to be with us when we passed on. Don't allow anyone to judge you on your decision.
    Erin S.

  3. What to do with a loved one's ashes is such a personal decision, especially when that loved one did not have a voice of his own in expressing what his wishes were. Whatever you choose is right for you and your family; I hope you have found a new sense of peace in bringing Tripp home.

  4. Thanks, girls. Although the decision to bring his ashes home took a long time to make for once I am not worried about what other people think. I am making progress!


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