So Cal, here you come!!
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Bay Area for a visit. Originally, it was to visit friends and be back in the Bay since I missed it. But it also ended up being a trip to bring your cremains to SoCal!! Yes, I got you a final resting place where my grandmother’s buried. It’s actually walking distance from her burial plot, so I’m hoping you guys can party together. 😂🤣 (Fingers crossed everybody speaks the same language wherever you guys are, or at least there will be translators available to help you guys communicate).
When I first arrived in So Cal in mid-Oct, it was tomb-sweeping, so we went to visit my great grandparents and grandmother’s burial plot. When I was at my grandmother’s plot, there was a black granite wall of niches at the back of the area. Mind you, I’ve been to this area of the cemetery a few times since you passed and seen this wall many times before. But, for some reason, this time it occurred to me that maybe I should think about finding you a final resting place. After I got back from tomb-sweeping, I called a cemetery in the Bay Area to get more information, and I eventually made an appointment to view the facility after I booked my ticket to the Bay Area. Without much thought, at that time, it just made sense to find you a final resting place in the Bay Area. Fast forward to six months, and it’s tomb-sweeping again in early April. (I know, can you believe I've survived living with my parents for this long?! I'm just as surprised as you are!! 😂🤣) When we visited my grandmother’s burial plot and I saw the black granite wall of niches at the back of the area again, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I get a niche for S here?!” I know it didn’t make sense at all, but somehow it felt like the right thing to do. During the tomb-sweeping rituals, I texted your mom and asked her thoughts about having your final resting place in So Cal instead of the Bay Area. I didn’t ask your dad since he lives in So Cal, so I assumed he wouldn’t have any objections to it since it was a lot closer for him. When your mom gave her blessings, I still wanted to view the grounds at the cemetery in the Bay Area before making a final decision. However, a week or so later, I think in my heart, I already knew the decision I was going to make. Then one night I had a dream about you (which I haven’t had a dream about you in a very long time) and we were just chatting about something (not relating to your final resting place or anything like that) but in the dream, you said, “Yes, Babe, that sounds like a good idea!” And I responded with, “Really?! You think so?!” And you replied, “Yes!” Then I woke up. It felt like you were trying to tell me it was the right decision, so I purchased the niche a few weeks before my Bay Area trip. So, it just made sense to bring you to So Cal in my carry-on luggage on the return trip. 😂🤣
Below is an excerpt from the letter I wrote to your family about my decision-making process of why I decided on So Cal as your final resting place:
Prior to S’s passing, we had a brief discussion regarding his final wishes, but one thing he never expressed was what to do with his ashes. I've thought about this a lot over the years since he passed, but I never really knew what to do with his ashes. Maybe I wasn't really ready to let him go or accept that he is truly no longer here, but it was always the biggest unknown and "strife" in my life at times. But, after much contemplation and blessing from his mother, I finally decided to purchase a niche at my family's cemetery.
It was a hard decision between keeping him in the Bay Area or relocating him to Southern California, but after much thought and contemplation, for me, it just made a lot of sense since the cemetery is where my family is or will be buried. My great grandparents and grandmother are already buried at this location and my grandfather and parents will be buried at this location as well. So, essentially, I realized that I will always be tied to his cemetery in one way or another -- so for me, I wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to visit without any inconvenience for me. (Yes, I'm only thinking of myself! haha). My family also visits the cemetery twice a year for tomb-sweeping, so I know, even if I don't get to visit him often, he will always have visitors at least twice a year dropping off his favorite snacks! :)
With COVID and the ability to literally work from anywhere, I really don't know where my life will take me and whether I relocate back to the Bay Area is very uncertain at this moment and who knows where my life will take me down the road either -- but one thing I do know for sure is that I will always be tied to this cemetery.
So, Babe, your new home is in sunny and hot Southern California with a view of the smog and pollution 😂🤣, downtown LA, and the mountains beyond downtown LA. It’s actually quite nice and serene there.
When I was making funeral arrangements the week you passed, the funeral director asked if I wanted to purchase a niche for you at their facility. My immediate response was “No!” In my mind, I was going to live with you forever and ever in our dream home. I had you prominently displayed in the back of our living room surrounded with our photos from throughout the years. Looking back at it now, it felt like a shrine I erected to honor and celebrate our life, relationship, and your memory. There were days where I would walk up to your urn, look at our photos, and just cry to my heart’s content. It was hard to contemplate and fathom your existence concluded inside that box. Over time, that area of the living room became invisible to me. It didn’t feel important anymore. I started to feel you were living inside of me, and I didn’t need the physical reminder that you passed away. I remember telling my therapist that I didn’t want to keep your urn anymore, but I didn’t know what to do with it either. I guess for the longest time, it was like a mental strife slowly simmering in the back burner. I had thought about asking your mother if she wanted to keep you, but I also knew she wasn’t in a place in her grief process to ask either, so I sat on it for a while.
When I decided to sell our house and didn’t know what my plans were yet for temporary housing, I asked your mom if you could temporarily stay with her until I found a permanent housing situation since I didn’t want to put you in storage or lug you around with me to who knows where. I already had my hand full with the four fur babies in tow. (Oh yes, how is our baby Jesse?! I know you probably have your hands full with him after he crossed the rainbow bridge two Christmases ago. He always loved to annoy and irk you. 😂🤣 Give him lots of belly rubs and snuggles for me and let him know I love and miss him to bits and pieces.)
Before deciding to find you a final resting place, I did give your mom the option of keeping you. But she felt the same way I did, which was you deserved a final resting place. I know some people choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes in a body of water, but scattering your ashes in a body of water somewhere didn’t seem like something you would want. You’re such a homebody, and you liked building deep roots and staying in one place, so finding a niche made the most sense to me. You’ve always wanted to move to So Cal at some point, so now you’re a permanent So Cal resident!!
After I made this decision, I left like this big weight lifted from me. I didn’t realize it was weighing on me that much until it was gone. It’s almost feels like I’m getting a sense of "closure" in some respect. Closure in what?! I don’t know, but I just feel like this big burden has finally lifted, and I can finally start focusing on creating and designing this mosaic I’ve been want to start. 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼 But you never know, nothing about widowhood ever surprises me. I could regret this decision in due time also!! 😂🤣
10/18/2022 08:09:05 am
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A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.