Just. Be. There
When someone has a tragedy or loss in their lives, friends and loved ones want to fix it. Fix you. It’s a natural reaction. We want to make everything o.k.
With a death, it changes you permanently and there is a process within that you must go through. You are forever changed when a loved one dies. And truly, it doesn’t matter if it was expected or sudden……it is still devastating. Life changing.
People are so lost when it comes to talking about death. They don’t know what to say to those left behind when someone dies. And sadly, people often will avoid you or disappear altogether. They disappear because they feel the need to fix things but there is nothing that they can do. They are lost for words too. My advice to people when a person is experiencing the aftermath of death is to just be there. There isn’t the need to talk about things or give advice or fix. Just. Be. There. Acknowledge their pain and just be present.
Go sit with them. Call to say hi and check in. Send a text. Send an email. Those simple actions let someone know that they are still being thought of. And even as life continues on, several weeks later they are still grieving………….their life has not really continued on. So continue with the simple gestures, the reminders that you are still thinking about them. They may seem so small to you but it will mean a lot to them. To know that you haven’t forgotten. To know that you acknowledge that they are hurting.
A wonderful video is available at the link below. And the website is also full of valuable information regarding loss.
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.