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I keep being terrorized at the idea of her body burned up and now it is in a box. I know she is in heaven, but still.......I am feeling horrified at this and need you to just tell me something to be released. I talk to others and they don't relate at all. Everyone is just fine with their loved ones ashes. That is not who I need to hear from. I want to know those who felt similar and how they got through this.....key things. cadams

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Thanks so much for helping me with this issue which was truly tormenting. The suggestion by Kimber hit the mark. It set me
free. I can see how butterflies lose their housing and are set
free. It helped me MUCH to see mom as such. THANKS. I
needed this. cadams
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This does not horrify me. What did it to me was the thought of the body rotting away. The sardonic smile totally freaked me out.

I would have a much, much harder time thinking of Mom in the grave turning into that! No, ashes was better. Not saying the head images were good...but whole lots better than the other
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Cadams, you mention a pastor so I assume you are christian, perhaps reading 1 Corinthians 15, v 35 - 49 will be a comfort to you.
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I hear you - we had my grandmothers ashes with us for two days at her apartment as we prepared for her funeral and were clearing out her unit. I was really freaked out - logically i knew her soul was in heaven but the remains of her body were in the next room. It was more than i could reason through.

My mom did a nice thing - she sat down with me and hugged me - then reminded me of a science class where we watched some caterpillars form the chrysalis and eventually butterflies emerged. The chrysalis was discarded. Somehow it made me feel a little better - think of my grandmother's beautiful soul free from the restraint of the chrysalis. My mom also asked my uncle if he could keep grandma's ashes overnight that night and that too helped.

Sending (((hugs))) your way and i hope you find comfort
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I think if one were to really ponder it, there are unpesant aspects with any of the rituals that deal with the remaining body that hosted our loved ones soul.

I was brought up always knowing my parents wanted to be cremated so I was as comfortable as I suppose one can be given the circumstances.

Still, I found myself unprepared - both times - for the feeling that came over me when I was handed the small, tasteful paper handled shopping bag that held "The Box". Driving home with it in the car I found myself boarding on a hysterical crying jag thinking "should I put the seatbelt over it". Honestly, I'm not being disrespectful- that's what kept going through my head!

I guess I was lucky in a way - that the place took so long in getting my mom back to me. They had a foul up getting the death certificate signed and three weeks went by before they cremated her - now, imagine the thoughts going through my head regarding moms "circumstances" at that time?!! However, I only had my mom with me - in that box, for two days.

That was better than the two weeks I had my beloved father - in his little box, sitting on my dresser in my bedroom. First - it was where to put him? No where seemed "appropriate".

So at night, while my hubby slept and my usual insomnia kicked in - I'd lay there, looking at the box and try to wrap my head around the fact my father - the man who endlessly carried me around on his shoulders when I was a child - was in that little box. All of him. I mean, is that it? That's all there is? One way or another, be it big or small, we wind up in a box when it's all said and done?

Personally, the actual act - the fire and the flames don't bother me. And deep down, I suspect that's not really what's bothering you. I am a major claustrophobic- major! So, the thought of a coffin and being buried six feet under - or sealed in marble or cement - is 1000 times more horrifying for me. But like I said - there really is no great choice here. The only acceptable alternative it to not die. And of course - that's really no alternative at all, is it?

But I think that is at the root of the traumatic imagery your putting yourself through. The finality of death.
My mom always said to me - even as a child, "the body is just a potato peeling and should be composted back into the earth when the soul is free of it". I admit, I'd like to think of my body as a bit more than a vegetable peel - but I do like the idea of my ashes, of my parents ashes, being returned into the earth - enriching and fortifying the soil - helping what we've left behind grow stronger and better.

I hope I might have been able to bring you even a small measure of comfort in sharing my own experience. I know how hard this process and this time can be. Best wishes.
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Cadams,
What you believe about the end of life, death, the body, where it goes, memorial rites are what matters. Those beliefs cannot be set aside easily. And will be complicated by the personal loss of your Mother.

You believe she is in heaven?
The Holy Spirit is imaged as a flame, a fire, the powerful Spirit of God.
Will it help if you imagine that the Holy Spirit has consumed her body and spirit, taken her into Heaven, and her ashes are all that is left behind? She is not here. Absent from the body, present with the Lord, in heaven.

So sorry for your loss. I don't have a very good answer, but feel you are suffering enough from your loss. You don't need to add images in your mind about the box.

What are your personal beliefs about honoring a person's life by taking care of the body?
Like burying the body? Were you opposed to the cremation? Just answer this to yourself, no need to explain. Were your Mother's wishes honored?

Do you want another family member to take trust of the box?
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What comes to mind is " ashes to ashes, dust to dust".

The essence that was your mom doesn't reside inside an imperfect vessel any longer; it has been released and is at peace. Nothing can harm her any longer.

I'm sorry that you're feeling bothered by this, Cadams. I think in times of great stress, we sometimes latch on to a detail and assign all of our discomfort, terror and sadness to that thing.

Listen to some calming music. Perhaps talk with your pastor about this. Be at peace.
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Cadams
I'm not too keen on the image either but then many cultures probably see the ritual funeral pyre as a sacred thing

Perhaps think less of mom's former body and more of the release of her soul from the flames in whatever vision brings you comfort - dove, butterfly, Angel, etc

The image of fire doesn't have to be destructive - if you're inclined to studying the bible then remember the story of meschach, shadrach and abednego who experienced a miracle in the fire

Please try not to dwell on unpleasant images but focus your thoughts on what you want to remember about mom in preparing for her memorial

God bless
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