Before I started Sacred Embers I had really not had exposure to cremains/ashes from anything. In my family, as small as it is, most people had been placed in a cemetery or their ashes had gone to someone else. Plus talking about death was not something that happened. (This is also fodder for a future blog post).
One thing I have learned because of Sacred Embers using the ashes of people and pets, is that there are SO MANY different textures and colors of ashes. Some are as fine as powder while others actually have pieces of bone still intact. And of course there are different textures in between that spectrum. The colors can differ too! That is something that really has surprised me. Some have been white as snow while others are different shades of beige or grey and I’ve even encountered a few that have been almost a navy. Different things come into play to create these differences.
If the person was wearing clothing at the time of cremation, the fabric can change the color. Aquamation often creates the whitest ashes of all because the body is processed via water as opposed to fire. The texture can be different because of the way the bones are processed as well. After cremation or aquamation, what is left of the bones are crushed. Some places frankly do more processing of the bones than others. Which obviously plays a part in the texture that the living will receive back, typically in some type of container or urn.
Often people don’t ever open the urn of their loved one. It’s scary, too final…..so many reasons. Whether you do or don’t, it really doesn’t matter. Having them can bring comfort, as can releasing them. Just be prepared, and if you do release them, don’t stand down wind!
My friends at www.restingwaters.com can give you more information regarding pets and the aquamation process.
I am always shocked by people that don’t understand someone grieving over their pet that has died. Our pets are, or at least are supposed to be, a family member. They miss you when you go to work or on a trip. They show you they love you. They “talk” to you in their way. They snuggle with you and show you affection. They make you laugh, they make you cry. They. Love. You. Unconditionally.
Some people have pets instead of children.
Some people have pets and children. The bottom line is that those pets; dog, cat, hamster, lizard………….are loved and had a place in the family. When death takes them from this realm, for any reason, it is a profound loss. It crushes your heart. You may cry tears that you never thought were possible. It’s o.k. And no one has the right to diminish your pain. Someone that you love has died. That void is terrible and heart wrenching.
There will always be those people that do not value pets like you do. Those people that just don’t get it. Don’t waste your time worrying about what they think. Cry, grieve, talk to those people that do understand, be alone with your memories, look for signs of their visits.
I don’t know your beliefs, but I believe, that our bodies are vessels and when they are no longer needed the soul, spirit, energy of that vessel continues on. This applies to animals and people. That’s why I tell people to look for signs of their visits. They want you to know that they are there. When you see or feel or smell something…..don’t automatically think that it is a coincidence. Look beyond that and feel their presence. I know that it is not the same as having them with you but it is comforting.
So when that sad day comes disregard the people that don’t understand. Your loss is very valid and deserves every moment of your tears and pain. As I tell my Sacred Embers clients, “It never gets better, only different.” How wonderful that you shared that love.
Yesterday I had lunch with a very dear friend. She was a Sacred Embers client. That’s how I met her. Her name is Erika. She came to me several years ago with a broken heart and the ashes of her sweet heart dog Lulu. We clicked from the moment we met. We laughed and we cried as she told me stories of her baby. We talk often and try to see each other once a month to catch up. We have many similar experiences in life and having that time to catch up and share what is currently going on in our lives has become very important. It’s always as if we saw each other the day before.
Life is full of so many types of treasures. Embrace them. Cherish the little things in life and know that nothing is a coincidence. The people that step into your life are there for a reason. We all have gifts to share with each other. It may be forever or it may be for a moment. There are so many things connecting all of us. Every strand of our lives are intertwined.