Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Homecoming

I finally went and picked up his ashes and brought them home. My father came with me and I don't know if that was a good idea or a bad one. I was "okay" (i.e. not breaking down) until the director said, "and when did he die?" Because I keep waking up, hoping for a miracle. Each time I am forced (or decide) to do another thing that has to do with his loss, the hope for that miracle fades. Each time someone asks me questions about his death, or I see his name in connection with "In memory of" or "deceased" etc it is like realizing it for the first time, all over again.

We had to wait about 5 minutes for the director to return with them and my father quickly took them and tucked them away under his arm. The director was really very nice and told me I could come back when I was ready to transfer to a permanent urn. I signed the paperwork, and he finally came back from the store. I really didn't know what to think. I know that we came in the house, my father had a cup of coffee and then had to go to work. I know that I took his ashes into our bedroom and was slammed with the realization that this will be the only way he will be in our bedroom ever again. And the forget to breathe, ugly, aching sobs began. I sat on the side of the bed just realizing that there will be no miracle. This really is it for us. Our little story really has ended. The lights that shone so brightly on our future dimmed for good.

I am a person that has always had to make things better. Leonard called me a S-mother because I am constantly attempting to hold stuff together. To get dinner on the table, laundry done (I failed miserably at times, but I tried), keep children happy, and find some small way to let them know I loved them. When he was sick, he would get irritated at me for trying to cover him up, take his temperature, kiss his forehead and make it better. I was constantly badgering him to go to the doctor for the slightest thing...

This, I will never be able to make better. I told a friend that that weekend (when it happened) was like I was running around, trying to hold water in a napkin. And the napkin ripped, the water spilled out and was lost and, as any seamstress knows, a napkin isn't nearly strong enough to sew back together again. You can try, but you'll only create more rips. That's where I am.

I am hoping to get "away" this weekend. I am taking the kids to Great Wolf Lodge, one of several resort/waterparks in the area, and maybe to an amusement park the next day, if the weather holds. I may or may not bring my lap top, and may or may not write depending on how late the chickens stay up. A couple of my children's friends are coming along as well, and you know how that goes. I thank you all so much for visiting here. If I'm not here this weekend, I'll be back on Monday.


Artemisia said...

Oh, I don't know what to say. Except that I really, really wish I could take some of this burden from you.

I am thinking of you.

Gelliebeans said...


I just wanted you to know that I have been reading your blog for a while now. It seems strange to look in on someone's life that you only know from the internet. I wanted you to understand that your love of your family shines through in the words you write. Your life has touched many others and I wish I could offer more comfort for you and the children.
I have come to read your blog like clockwork as a way to check in and make sure that you are around.

All I can say is my heartfelt thanks for allowing us to share and know you.


Laurie said...

Hi Laura,

Boy, my heart sure goes out to you girl and I am so sorry this hurt just cuts so deep in your heart. I am praying for you daily to somehow get through this season in time with a new hope in your heart and knowing you are loved by many. This is still so new for you and you are the one who is walking this path, one step at a time. All I can do is pray for you and offer to listen, but I want you to know I am with you in prayer always. I hope you have a good and restful weekend. I hope you find a nugget of joy to lift your spirits.

Love you, Laurie in Ca.

Haylee said...

Dear Laura:

I am so sorry you are feeling such a whirlwind of lonliness and sadness. How hard it must be every time you have to close a door. -- beit his truck, receiving his ashes etc. - all such agony .. but be assured, away from your vision, a window does open.

How absolutely precious James is! I know that together you will all move forward ... how bittersweet to seem further away from your life with Leonard yet a small comfort that you are continuing on in a way that Leonard would definately want and in a way your children definately need. Such a paradox.

Life, even with all its beauty, can be so agonizing at times.

Over a century ago, Henry Scott Holland, a professor of divinity at Oxford University wrote: (Best to read it as if written by Leonard)

Death is nothing at all--I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant...there is absolutely unbroken continuity. I am waiting for you--somewhere just around the corner.

All is well.

I hope your weekend gives you some comfort and peace of mind.

Praying for you & yours.

Betts4 said...

I have my husbands ashes and it is so hard to believe that he really is never coming back.

Why? why did this happen and HOW? how did this happen and what? what must I do to make it better.

I ache for you and hope that there is some emotional release. Be calm and know that he is at your side.

The girl left behind said...

Not long after my sweetie died, and I felt up to it, I tried to start working through a grief workbook that accompanied the book I was reading. On an early page, it asked you to write down the facts of the loss. I wrote down his name, his birth date, his age, cause of death, but when it asked me to write down the date, I couldn't. The pen just hung in mid-air. It's not that I didn't know the date; of course I did--how could I ever forget? But I couldn't write it that day. I put it away for a stronger day.

I know it's hard to have his ashes at home now, but better with you than with strangers. Hugs, love, and peace, Laura. You are in my thoughts.

rachd said...

Hi Honey,

You made it past another milestone. Congratulations! That one was a terribly hard one for us as well. B made the trip with our dear friend, Joe, and I don't know how they managed. It seems so strange and awful, you know?

I wish you all a wonderful weekend at GWL--we have one here!--and hope you bring home lots of fun memories.

Biggest HUGS for you on this hard day.

Kathy said...

Hoping your weekend is busy and that the kids have a great time. And what a wonderful thing if you get to see them laughing and forgetting their 'worries' if even just for a short time.

Your napkin analogy is amazingly simple yet profound.

I hope your face is feeling better.
May you find peace. Kathy

Marsha said...

Have a great weekend. I am glad you were able to get the ashes home with you.

When my grandmother passed away, we found a wrapped present on a shelf in her closet. It was my grandpa's ashes. We decided to mix grandma and grandpa's ashes together and sprinkle them around the apple tree in their backyard.

Michele said...

As hard as that was to do, I think bringing Leonard home again was such a big, huge step for you. I am praying for you and the kids every day. I am sure this weekend will bring all of you some release and some laughter. You still amaze me.

The Stevens Family said...

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and things don't seem or feel so tough this weekend.

Jess T said...

I'm glad you made it. I know it wasn't easy, especially after all of your "attempts" at going. Baby steps.

I'm thinking of you today.


Scott said...

Take care, I hope the weekend affords you a bit of a mental break from all you have been dealing with lately.

camielmom said...

Baby steps, sweetie. You're doing a wonderful job. Your children are so lucky to have you. Leonard is very proud of you. Your strength is amazing.

Much love to you.

Emblita said...

Dear Laura,
I just read up on the posts of the last 6 weeks while I've been away. I can't believe that your dearest Leonard died. My heart is breaking for you and your children.
I can hardly imagine the pain you are going through. But I do know about loving my husband, and that I would be lost without him. And I imagine that I would be just as distraught as you are.
Words just really seem to fall short.
I am so sorry.

Tall Drink of Water said...

Hi Laura,

You know me as KitchenWitch. I have been reading your blog and not a day goes by that I do not think of you and your family. I sincerely wish I could bring Leonard back for you.

I hope you can be gentle with yourself, particularly with how you feel about what kind of mother you are. You love your children, you are doing the best you can for them, and children are amazingly resilient. There will be anger, and deep sadness from them, as they adjust to life without their daddy. It is in no way a reflection on you.

Love to you and yours.


Sharpie said...

I know that you are glad to have Leonard home with you where he belongs. I am so sorry for your pain...I wish I could lift it for you.

Much love!

Shari said...

I know it's hard to see, but every time I read a new post from you, you seem so much stronger every day. You are already looking back on your life with him and sharing memories, too, while you are facing each new day without him.

Take care. God bless.