To Urn or Not to Urn

We still haven’t been able to put Clayton to rest. His mother’s stroke has resulted in her having to move near relatives and figure out a new life. Until then, Clayton sits in a (beautiful) Urn in our apartment. At first it was unsettling, having to look at a container that holds the dust of the person you want to hold the most. You want to keep it and put them to rest all at the same time for, what feels like, competing selfish reasons but that is another layer of the loss.

I don’t have many friends in the small beach town where I live. When we moved here, my job took a lot of time and Clayton’s job had us with different days off. There wasn’t time to meet people before we lost time. Now that Clayton is gone, I have a lot of empty space and time. This past week I invited 41 people that I knew in the area to come over for wine and some social time. I set up my house and got all the fun drinks and food for a mellow social evening. The house was cleaned and I was ready to go but then Clayton caught my eye. His Urn is in the living room where everyone would be and everyone knows that he is here. I didn’t know what to do. Too urn or not to urn? That was an awful question and a terrible feeling. Do I keep Clayton’s Urn where it is because he was (and is) a huge part of my life or do I put his urn in the bedroom to keep things from being awkward? Either way I felt incredible guilt.

Well 4 people showed up and did not stay long. Others that said they would come either messaged last minute or didn’t at all. As soon as the “party” started it had ended and everything was empty including the spot in the living room where Clayton had been every day. I was truly alone and the saddest part is that I would rather have kept his urn where it was and not have a party than to have an unsuccessful party without him in the room.

The loneliness wave has been one of the hardest so far…

Showing 6 reactions

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  • Valerie Pisano Tufano
    commented 2018-10-31 12:41:22 -0700
    I’m so sorry but I understand unfortunately
  • Marilyn Black
    commented 2018-10-31 04:13:09 -0700
    This is so shocking, Bryan. I imagine that these rude people who failed you are otherwise fine large-hearted folks who support every good cause in town… Well, you and God know the real truth about who they are (and now your readers do too, lol).
    I’m capable of a spot of sardonic humor two years into my bereavement which left me too stranded in a new city. I have now forgiven those who forsook me…eventually seeing that indeed they know not what they do. It only took one or two exceptionally kind people to calm my rage and restore my generous constitution…
    Cultivate the friendship of the four true souls who honored you, and forget the rest. And always keep the urn close, I would say! I recently held a second death anniversary memorial ceremony under the tree that graces the corner at which my husband was killed while legally crossing the road. The sight of the urn by the grand trunk he loved with its 14 ft girth was triumphant in my eyes.
    I am so so sorry for all your suffering. Do not think I am playing down the sharpness of the added hurt you have been made to bear so unconscionably – I know it is the worst, and in the situation you describe, so incredibly pointed.
    My heart goes out to you
  • Vicki Johnson Colandra
    commented 2018-10-30 20:55:09 -0700
    I to don’t have many friends but I’m very proud to keep my husband Urn in plain sight. He is a very important part of my life so when people ask I say that’s my husband.
  • Cathy
    commented 2018-10-30 20:37:11 -0700
    Yes, that loneliness wave is hard to crest. Others might imagine it, but they have no idea what it’s really like. Their lives have gone on, yours has too, but without your person there forever more. Some days are harder than others, this was one of them for you. I, too, have many people who avoid me, you just have to keep looking for your tribe.
  • Cathy
    followed this page 2018-10-30 20:33:26 -0700
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2018-10-27 21:56:35 -0700
    Bryan I’m so sorry. I’ve had a similar experience, and we all know that horrible lonliness. At almost 7 years out many people still find my situation uncomfortable at best, so they choose to avoid it (and me) altogether. It’s the hardest part of the life I have now.