I miss my Dad

He was the best, and I think about him everyday.
The thought of scattering his ashes next summer has been more difficult for me than anticipated. Part of me does not want to part with his ashes, and wants to keep them. But my mother wants to scatter his ashes in the ocean, which he loved so much. I think it’s a good idea. I just get so sad thinking of what remains physically of my father will drift away. I do hope that it returns him to the place he loved the most, swimming in the ocean. I miss him so much sometimes the pain is unbearable. I cried last night so hard, for so long, my eyes are swollen. This isn’t the first time. I feel like there is a massive void in my life now and in my family. The conflict with my older brother, who I was once very close with, has not helped either. I hope scattering Dad’s ashes will provide closure of some sort for my Mom. I can only image the pain she must feel, and that makes me hurt as well because I love her so much. Even if the trip to the ocean is causing me great anxiety, because I will have to face my brother and his disrespectful GF once again, I guess I’ll just have to suck it up, for Mom.

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I lost my dad last year so I know your pain and if you need someone to relate to or swap stories I’m always around dm me and I’ll respond when I can :slight_smile:

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I’m so very sorry for your loss @Panda007. The pain that you share and the love for your parents that you express through your words is felt beyond measure. You dad must have been such a beautiful person and he left a really strong impact on your life.

It is absolutely understandable to worry about scattering his ashes next week. It’s a very special moment that can have a different impact on the ones who are mourning. When my big brother passed away, it was decided to scatter his ashes in three different places. One that was next to where he spent most of his life and where we grew up. Another one next to the ocean, at a place he loved as an adult. Then another place in nature, close to where my sister lived at the time, a place where we spent some summer evenings laying down and looking at the night sky. The last place I had to scatter the ashes myself since my sister couldn’t hold the urn. It was brutal, to really face the fact that what was left of him physically could seem so little. At the same time, it gave a little bit of closure, at least to internalize that he was gone physically.

Sometimes it’s tough to not have the possibility to go there again (I live far away), but I have a very tiny jar with some grains of sand from the beach where my parents left some of his ashes. It brings some kind of connection to the place whenever I need it. Maybe that could be something for you to do as well? To bring back a shell or a bit of sand just so you have something to hold in your hand when the pain would be stronger. It’s not a lot, but it can help for some of us to have a physical reminder, something significant that we can keep with us when the void inside feels too real.

I hope as well that this event is going to bring you all together. Without any division, any argument or unpleasant comment. You all deserve so much love and peace right now, as the pain of grief can already be very loud.

I also want you to know that we are here for you. None of what you would say, share or feel would be wrong. Losing someone so important is a wound that cannot be explained, but we’ll honor the love it reflects with you here.

Your dad will be dearly missed. He won’t be forgotten. Thank you for sharing such a raw expression of your love for him, friend. You are not alone. :hrtlegolove:

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Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your support!

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, it really helped me process some stuff.
Part of the anxiety of scattering his ashes (which is supposed to happen next summer) is because my Mom booked a cottage on the East coast of Canada without asking any of her 3 adults children if they had the finances or time off work to even go. She just booked the trip and assumed we could all make it.

One of my brothers lives on the West side of Canada, and I live in central Canada (as does my mom and my other brother who lives in her basement), so it’s not just a quick drive or something lol. It made me mad that she just pulled the trigger without asking anyone. Also, when I said that I might not be able to make it due to financial reasons/work she replied “Ok, maybe we can just Zoom you in.” Which was salt in the wounds a little bit.

I said I would not want to Zoom in, but it would be nice if she communicated any of this plan to us before booking a non-refundable cottage. Another thing, she booked this big cottage assuming we would all just stay there. However, I don’t want to be around my middle brother and his GF at all, and my mom knows this, so my mom said that I could stay at my aunt and uncles which is fine, it just feels like she is accommodating the wrong people yet again. (They already live in her house basically rent free). Anyway, when my oldest brother said to me that he would not be staying at the cottage either (he said it was “too much energy in one place”) my Mom was all shocked that he didn’t want to stay at the cottage either. But, this is what happens when you just ASSUME that people can drop everything and travel across the country next summer.

I very much like your suggestion of scattering the ashes in multiple places, and keeping an object from that place of some kind. This might provide a good opportunity to spread some ashes closer to home. I am kind of just waiting until next summer, things can always change. It’s just been frustrating to think about it looming in the background.

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Thank you so much for your response as well, and for sharing a little more of the context you’re in.

So you know as well the struggle of grieving while being far away from your family. It’s tough. Given the fact that your brother is closer physically to your mom, it can easily feel like you’re out of the loop as well.

I think it really shows how much everyone has its own way to grieve. In a group like a family, there’s then a need for accomodations and adapting to each other while our needs can be different, if not opposed. It seems that your Mom has been taking decisions driven by her own needs and what seems meaningful to her, but she also dismissed the fact that it could be different for you, and eventually your brother too. It’s understandable. It’s human. But it’s also unfortunate and can add more hurt to a pain that’s already very present. Sometimes it applies to almost everything, which is frustrating and heartbreaking at times.

Just to share an example, at the time, my family and I had a disagreement regarding what to do with my brother’s books. He was a big reader and his books were kind of a reflection of who he was, his personality. To my eyes, it was important to keep them - I couldn’t imagine them being donated, and I kind of wanted to have the possibility to read what he used to read. My dad on the opposite was absolutely ready to give them away, which was also motivated by a need to not see them in his house constantly (my own home being small, I can’t afford to take them yet). If I didn’t say no and make him realize that it may not be important to him but it was for me, he would have donated everything without really letting us know. It was the same with his clothes - it was important to my mom, not for everyone else -, and our need (or not) to look at photos. We had very different reactions, and sometimes there was a bit of a shock between those needs. It’s kind of a fail and re-try process.

It’s totally understandable that you would have wanted your mom to communicate things differently. I imagine it’s the kind of decision that follows some kind of urge and she didn’t really take in account all of this.

As for assuming that children can drop everything to travel and see their family… I could have written what you’ve just shared. I totally get your frustration! Parents being parents sometimes… I guess?

All of this would definitely be worth some calm/peaceful communication if you ever have the opportunity for it. It’s always delicate and touchy when everyone is mourning someone who has been such a huge part of their life, but it’s also during those times that we can speak a little more with our heart and, eventually, be reunited around something that is shared: the love you have for your dad.

Through all of this, I hope you find the space and time to feel and express what belongs to you. In my family, with tensions that were already present as well, it’s been really hard - if not impossible - to have a space there for my own grief. I had to create it myself, on my own, in my life, without having to involve my family in it. It’s been a bittersweet process, and it still hurts deeply sometimes, but it was also necessary for my own good. I’ve created my own little “rituals”, I have my own ways to feel connected to my big brother, and there is something really special in owning that. What matters, in the end, is that we can maintain some kind of connection with the people we have lost yet love dearly, as it really helps to fill the void of their absence, and to keep being nurtured by the impact they had on us. Especially because as you’ve said really well, all these “little” things can really pile up and loom in the background. Just make sure it doesn’t make you lose sight of your heart and what really matters to you right now. Your heart is a precious place and it holds a beautiful love. :hrtlegolove: