Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cremation or Burial

Ok, This is going to be a tough conversation, but I feel it is time to open up and share, what was a very emotional part of our lives. I personally, want to be cremated. Not buried. I never want my children to feel obligated to put flowers on my grave, or feel guilty for not "visiting me."My husband is self employed, and we have this habit and privilege of moving to an area, just because. (Ask me sometime how I got to Colorado...)So, because of this, we decided to have Maddux cremated. I just could not bear the thought of moving, and leaving Maddux behind. Then I could not bear the thought of Having to move, and being forced to leave Maddux behind. Does that make any sense?After Maddux died, and during autopsy, came the decisions, of funeral homes. How much? Were they credible? Would they treat him well? When would they pick him up? Over and over and over. I wanted to personally drive to every funeral home and "interview" the Man in Charge. Luckily, my husband put his foot down, said NO. And took it upon himself to find the "right" person. Everything was able to be done over the phone and by fax. (Of course, I'm not too happy about this decision...Remember I wanted to personally Interview...) But, looking back now, this was the best choice for us. I had looked online for cremation urns. (how I hate that word-urns...) And trust me, I looked and looked and looked. Nothing was right, I did not see anything that I even remotely liked or wanted. This was a very imoportant decision for me. I am looking for a "resting place" for my son! One of the only decisions or choices I will ever be able to make for him as his mother. This had to be perfect...Not just for him, but for me as well. I did not take this task lightly.I believe we picked up Maddux on February 17th. I remember the kids were out of school. (presidents day) We drove to (and yes, I will tell you the name) ERLINGER FUNERAL HOME in Lafayette Colorado. The directors name is Carl Erlinger. An incredible and compassionate man. He asked us if we wanted an urn to put Maddux in, and we said yes. He showed us all of what he had. Not a large selection, but again, the same that I was seeing over the internet. I told Mike no. I didn't see anything I wanted, and didn't want something "to just tide me over..." I didn't want to have to "transfer him." So, we took Maddux in a little plastic bag, that was put into a burgundy velvet bag with gold tassels. I continued my search...Now it was time to "think out of the box..." (No pun intended...) I looked online at china stores, I looked at Sterling Silver vases. I looked at LLardo figurines. I found some beautiful pieces here. Especially the ones titled: MY GUARDIAN ANGEL and HEAVENLY SLUMBER drove to several stores looking at them. They were perfect. The only thing wrong, was that there was no opening to insert Maddux's ashes. Mike said he could just drill a hole at the bottom. (And we honestly thought about actually doing this.) Then someone said, "Take it to a Jeweler." Ok, we could do that, too. If it broke-it broke. No big deal. I used to be a huge antique mall shopper. I love the old and rustic look. One day I was driving by the antique mall of off I-70. Ok, I'll go in. I fould this cute little ceramic figurine of a boy, kneeling in prayer with a teddy and a bible in front of him. (see 1st image) There was no bottom. This would be perfect, I thought. Mike could make a bottom. I did not let the $3.00 price tag steer me away. (thinking it was too cheap.) I bought it. Took it home, and put it on the shelf, so the kids wouldn't break it. The next week, I was driving Chase to a baseball lesson at Slammers. I had an hour to kill, and there was another little antique mall close by, so I drove there. I was in there for probably 15 minutes, when near the front I saw it. Exactly what I was looking for. The maker is Royal Doulton and the figurine is called "Family" (see second image.) And, better yet, there is a hole at the bottom. (surely we can figure out how to seal it...)So, this is what we have decided to use as our son's resting place, for now. Mike and I have agreed, that whoever (between the two of us) dies first, we will scatter Maddux's ashes, with the ashes of one of us. I love this figurine. It reminds me of our photographs we had done with Sandy. Where Mike and I are together and Maddux is cradled in my arms. Mike and I always have thought and said, that that night with Sandy and her camera, was our memorial to Maddux. We never even thought about having a service for Maddux. This was our way of honoring him...Through the Photographs...

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