Capture Your Grief: Day 12. Normalizing Grief


We took our daughter’s ashes to the same beach where Joe and I got married.  We’d placed them in biodegradable urns—one for each of us to kiss and then place in the water. I watched them slip under water.  And I still wonder if they washed up on shore somewhere. If a wayward snorkeler found them.  Would they have known just to let them be? That these were not just some craft someone tossed aside?   That these were the last physical remains of my daughter on this earth?  There was a little beach off to the side from the main beach at the resort.  A sweet little spot that once housed a sea turtle that had washed up during a hurricane and then lived the remainder of her life there.  Hours after we returned from the boat ride that took us out farther from shore to place her ashes, I made Joe walk to that beach with me—just to make sure the turtle urns had not washed up.  Yes, the rational side of me said they had disintegrated by that point and her ashes were in the sea.  Yes, it said that if they were to wash up, they certainly wouldn’t be at that small spot.  But that’s the thing with intense grief.  It isn’t always rational.  On Zoey’s first birthday, we went to be by the ocean.  As I stood in the water, tears streamed down my face.  I couldn’t stop myself from thinking: “I left her out here in this immense ocean all by herself. I abandoned her. What kind of mother does that?”  Irrational. I know that.  She was already gone.  But the urge to mother my child did not stop when she died.

Looking out at the little beach we walked to after releasing Zoey’s ashes.
The same little beach in 2008.


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