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Thread: The Grieving Process

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    The Grieving Process

    It is still very intense at times; I'll be doing the most random thing and suddenly my thoughts turn to my daughter and I get a HUGE lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I ride it out for however long it takes and move on until it hits again.

    I have been performing some little rituals in the last few months regarding spreading her ashes ~ I have taken a little baggie of her with me whenever I have a day off and am going somewhere beautiful around here, which is pretty much everywhere in this part of New Mexico. In early December I went up to Los Alamos and went on a little hike to the end of a trail that ended in a sheer cliff overlooking the Sangre de Christo mountains. I placed a little packet of her ashes (wrapped in white muslin with a purple yarn ribbon) in a nook of a rock, took a picture, then took a picture of "her" view and then emptied the little bit of ashes to be mixed up by the wind with the dirt and rocks that reside there. It didn't take long, and I got a good feeling knowing that part of her is there in the landscape and I can go back and visit.

    Site #2 was the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge west of Taos. It is a SPECTACULAR place. I think it was right before Christmas and my boyfriend was with me - this ritual was quick as there were a good number of people around taking in the view. I did my quick photo of the white packet sitting on the bridge railing, which looks down onto the Rio Grande WAY down below (it is actually a pretty scary bridge; people have jumped to their deaths from it and it has a couple of emergency phones in case someone is in trouble and wants to reach out before they make a bad decision). When I ascertained no one was looking at us, I knelt down, put my hands through the lower railing, opened the baggie and sent her flying into the wind.

    Site #3 was the day before yesterday. The weather cleared up nicely so I went out to one of my favorite local places, Tent Rocks. Not too many people out there hiking so I was able to get up to the "portrait tree", which is this really gnarly old, old Ponderosa pine tree with a crazy root system pushed up above the ground. This tree has such significance to me in that back in June of 2017 my daughter and mom drove out to New Mexico to visit me in my new home and I took them on a hike at Tent Rocks. I have a photo of us, three generations, standing in front of this awesome tree. That was the second to last time I ever saw my daughter. I took my photo of the white packet nestled into the heart of the tree, shed some tears and proceeded on.

    Site #4 was yesterday. I went out to Diablo Canyon, which is west of Santa Fe down eight miles of dirt road. It might just be my favorite place out here, a little off the beaten track. People go out there to scale the sheer rock walls; it's a very dramatic landscape. Again, not that many people around because it is still so early in the season. I started hiking and came upon a rock formation of concentric circles in the sand of the arroyo that someone had built. In the center it looked like a "alter" so I placed the white packet there and took many pictures, using my own shadow as part of the composition. It was really beautiful and artistic. Then I ate lunch on a warm, black boulder before continuing on to find the just the right spot to place her ashes. Further down the canyon I came upon a prow-shaped "grotto" a little ways up the rock heaps at the base of the big cliff and just off the path enough to not garner any notice by anyone else. I nestled a little of her ashes way back inside the grotto out of the wind and marked the spot with two sticks I fashioned into an impromptu cross. I will come back at later dates to "visit."

    I can't help but think she would totally approve of this. For me it means that she is in all the places that I love around here.

    Site #5 I'm thinking will be on Sanibel Island, FL. I am going there next week to meet up with my mom and sister. I'll have to transport her little packet of ashes the correct way on the flight; I think the funeral home gave me a little certificate that I have to carry with me on a plane. I must remember to check that out.

    So by June 26th (what would have been her 27th birthday), I want to complete the ritual by putting the remaining ashes in the spot I scouted out up in the town cemetery. I have already spoken to our local metal artist on the type of marker I would like her to make. I feel like that will be the final ritual piece I need to complete.
    Last edited by SiouzQ.; 3-2-19 at 11:20am.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing, SiouzQ. It sounds like you have created a really meaningful set of rituals that will help keep her close to you always. It is so nice that you have a picture of her with your mother at Site #3. I'm sure she would approve. I wish you peace as you navigate through your grief.

    I remember visiting my aunt who had lost her husband of 60 years a few months before, and at one point she had to excuse herself. She had spontaneously started tearing up. When she came back to the room, she apologized and said that these unexpected teary moments were fairly regular occurrences.. So I imagine what you are experiencing is normal, albeit painful. I am so sorry for your pain.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #3
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    SQ... I am so sorry.

    I am grieving for my DS.... he has not departed. He is lost to me even so.

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Lovely way to cherish your daughter's memory and a positive action for you giving you peace.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #5
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    So beautiful and poignant. What a beautiful set of ritual.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for sharing. So happy for you that this is working. Hugs.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  7. #7
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    Bless you for being your own caretaker through this difficult time. Grief is different for each of us and creating these ceremonies that are meaningful to you will always bring you a comforting moment. Grief will take as long as it will take for you and that's okay. The Rio Grande Gorge bridge is a beautiful site-you brought me wonderful memories of our 30th anniversary trip there.

    Wishing you a safe journey to FL and some healing time with family.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    OP, thank you for sharing this.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for sharing your healing process.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I love the practice of spreading ashes in significant places to both you and her. It gives you an even more powerful connection to both. Thank you for sharing those beautiful moments with us.

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