When Tyron died I had all of these ideas on how I was going to memorialize him. I didn’t sleep for days because I was scared that if I shut my eyes, I would forget. I would forget how I felt when he hugged me, when we laughed, etc. I wanted something in my home that, when I locked eyes on it, would take me back to moments in our life that brought me great joy.
I made the decision to have Tyron cremated. He always said, “Why are you going to take up perfectly good real estate when I’ll be in heaven?” I honored that statement and my thought was to have the urn and a picture from our wedding day placed beside my bed. It was going to be a daily reminder and he could always be close to me. Between that and the thought of putting it on a shelf surrounded by pictures, my mind swam with ideas on how I could memorialize his life.
It’s not a secret on this blog that I am a Christ-follower. I believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I believe the words of the Bible are true and I take heed when the Bible speaks of idolatry.
The memorial home called to say that the urn was ready for my pick up. I walk in and I can’t remember what I said but, I think I was kind of laughing inside because I was there to pick up an urn filled with my late husband’s ashes. How do you greet someone with that statement?! It’s not like ordering McDonald’s.
I sit down with the lady, sign all the necessary paperwork, discuss how she got into “the biz” and I leave. I have the urn carefully placed in the crook of my arm and I walk to my car. I stop at the door, look at the car… look at the urn and just chuckle. Where in God’s green earth am I supposed to put this? Do I put him in the trunk? The backseat? Do I buckle him in? Do I just let him roll around? A part of me is convinced that the staff I’ve just left is peering through the blinds to see what i’ll do with the urn.
The ridiculousness of the whole situation was too much and I just laughed as I got into the car. (By the way, I buckled it into the front seat) I quickly came to this realization: Putting Tyron’s urn up on a shelf would make him an idol, my focus. (Forget the fact that Tyron would have thought it stupid!) He isn’t there and my focus has to be Jesus!
Putting his urn away doesn’t take away from other ways I have memorialized his life. I have written a great deal on this blog and in journals about his life, how we met and have a box saved of important things that remind me of that time before his death. Before – placing the urn in a position of idolatry doesn’t just make it sinful because it’s taken it’s place in my heart above God but it also jacks up what I actually wanted to memorialize. It freezes the moments of his death and not his life. That’s never what I want.
So, his urn is safely tucked away. In a place where it isn’t the focal point of my life, but I am frequently reminded that it’s there.
If you’re reading this and have a similar situation: Where did you put your loved one’s remains?