"Sometimes, Grandma reads me stories at night."

Comment Jason made to me as I put him to bed about a week and a half ago. I asked him if he wanted to have my mother's ashes in his room that night.


carra said…
That is cruel Richard! Why didn't you offer to read him a story instead?
Richard said…
carra: I do read him stories. He also reads to me (it is how I get him to practice his French).

Since my mother is dead, the only thing we have of her is her ashes and I let grandma sleep with the kids if they want. They have yet to refuse. I do not see the point of having her remains sitting somewhere out of the way. Since she is portable, I let her be close to the kids.

I don't know if my mother reads to him or tells him storie sin his dreams. He did also say right afterwards that he misses her. Which I guess is good, since he was only 5 when she died and during the last 2 years of her life we didn't visit as much since the chemo used to wear her out and knock out her immune system. Finding a time when my mother was reasonably well and the kids were not at risk of infecting her with something was difficult. We visited once a week after a stomach flu passed through our house. My mother was sick for a week afterward.

We also look at pictures and I tell my kids about her so they remember.
Barbara said…
He should tell you the stories the next day so you can write them down. I think this is very therapeutic!
carra said…
Sorry I thought that was some trick, I am sorry I didn't realise, I feel really daft right now. What you're doing is great, especially if it keeps the memory of his grandmother alive. I would be interested to hear what stories your mother reads...
Very interesting...one just never knows. Hopefully, her memory will remain with him.
You all must miss her terribly.
I don't know what I want done with my ashes. I kinda like the idea of a regular burial site with a marker since it would be a fixed place where anyone could go at any time.
Richard said…
barbara: I have asked, but he just shrugs and says, "I don't remember".

carra: I bear no grudge against you.

MOI: my mother wanted to be buried and not cremated, but she also wants to be buried with my dad. Since he is not dead yet, keeping her portable was the only option. I grew up with the notion that burial was preferable over cremation. However, having my mother so easily accessible is quite nice.
b said…
Oh, I think that is very sweet that he said that and that you put her ashes in his room with him. There is a tenderness in that interaction that is very touching. Why should we deny children such? Why should we try to pretend or convince them that death is only a physical reality? Those who die we carry with us always and you clearly reiterated such to Jason.
Richard said…
breal: as with everything, balance is important. Some cultural practices seem to elevate death, making it a constant reminder. Others seem to hide it and shut it away. Personally, I have not known how to deal with death. How sympathetic, how mournful should I be? Of course, different people handle death differently. Some seem unable to let go of it. Others seem completely indifferent.

Rituals, customs, and traditions can go a long way to helping in the healing process, but sometimes I think they go too far. Some cultures have mutes and professional mourners - personally, I think that is taking things too far.

I also think the grief counselling that so often is hyped and promoted (especially in schools) after a death is wrong too and possibly harmful. I think it reinforces the idea that if you are not affected, there must be something wrong with you.

I prefer to take life my life neat, without adulteration. Of course, the only thing I ask is that I actually understood it better.
Richard said…
travis: in what way?

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