Just talking. It has taken me 18 months...

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by starryuk, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. starryuk

    starryuk Registered User

    Nov 8, 2012
    to be brave enough to collect my mum, well her ashes. So bizarre, walking to the car with her/them. I heard her say, so clearly, 'don't upset yourself,'.

    My dad died 10 years ago...10!! and no one ever dared talk about his ashes to my mum. (Families, eh?) So, I woke up about 3 weeks ago with one of those 'flashes'. Tracked down the funeral directors, phoned them, drove 100 miles to collect them. Again, as I walked to the car I heard him say 'What took you so long?'

    So now they reside together up in my attic! What to do with them I wondered. Then, another morning, another 'flash'.

    I am off to the Caribbean next month on a cruise. I shall take them with me. I shall scatter the ashes in the warm waters. Perfect for them. They loved the sea, loved travelling the world on ships and loved the tropics. One final voyage on their favourite shipping line. The Captain is happy to conduct a little service however I want it. I have to get the relevant certificates together and it can be done. The urns must travel with me on the plane in my hand luggage and stored under the seat. That is the only bit I am nervous about. But I can do it...

    Strangely these thoughts are too private to talk about except on here. I know everyone here will understand...thanks if you read my burblings :)
  2. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    You have been brave to do this. I think your idea sounds lovely. I think of all water flowing together eventually and the sea is so unchanging. We will all raise an imaginary glass to you and your folks.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I hope your ceremony will be as special to you starry as mine was when we scattered Dhiren`s ashes in the Ganges.
  4. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    I understand , starryuk.

    They will be quite heavy/bulky for taking on the plane with you, so just bear this in mind when you choose what to carry them in, so that it will fit under the seat. And bear in mind that some airlines don't allow a handbag/shoulder bag as well as a travel bag, so you may need to put your handbag inside as well.

    Have a lovely holiday, I'm sure your plans will give you peace and a sense of something well done.
  5. loveahug

    loveahug Registered User

    Nov 28, 2012
    Moved to Leicester
    I think it's a fabulous idea, and lovely that they will be scattered together. There can be some stringent rules about travelling with cremated remains so do check with the airline/cruise company/ travel company what restrictions there might be. I would hate or your plans to e thwarted because of some weird rules where you're going.


    Enjoy the cruise x
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    We promised my two brothers in law that we would dig their ashes into their mother's grave and we did. Dont know if we had any rights to do it but around the headstone there was a gap and they went in easily. Kept the family together.

    Do what feels right.

    YORKIEGIRL33 Registered User

    Dec 30, 2015
    Perfect Idea

    Hi I'm new to forum but my mum died from dementia 18 months ago. I think your plan is quite perfect especially as you can scatter your parents together. My dad died over 20 years ago and ashes weren't mentioned. When mum died all I could find out from few remaining family members were that they were scattered. So mum has a plot at the cemetery with a nice headstone, flowers and a couple of ornaments. She's beside her two brothers and sister in law so isn't alone. It's so hard even after this time. I still want to pick up the phone or I suddently think "I must tell mum about this". Enjoy your cruise and give your parents a lovely send off.

  8. starryuk

    starryuk Registered User

    Nov 8, 2012
    #8 starryuk, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016

    You are right about restrictions. The airline wouldn't budge on their 5kg limit on hand luggage when I rang to enquire. The ashes weigh 7kg and they won't allow a second bag. However, the lady at P&O has been brilliant and has sorted it out for me.

    We had a previous crisis on a P&O cruise a couple of years ago when my friend's mum died (in UK) while we were away. They arranged everything to get her back to UK and it was not straight forward. As soon as I got home, they were on the phone asking how my friend was and if her complicated journey had gone to plan.

    I know they will make sure it goes smoothly for me next week. They have explained everything in detail and ensured I have all the legalities covered.
  9. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Its so nice when you use a company that cares. I hope you have a smooth trip.
  10. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    What a perfectly lovely idea! I hope you enjoy your cruise, and it's a great plan xxx
  11. starryuk

    starryuk Registered User

    Nov 8, 2012
    I will let you know how it goes.
  12. sunray

    sunray Registered User

    Sep 21, 2008
    East Coast of Australia
    It sounds like a brilliant idea, I hope the small service is something that will give you the calm you need to get through this. My parents ware buried together but I haven't put Mum on the headstone yet so will try to get to that next month. Funny how we need to put things off for so long. I guess it is just part and parcel of how we grieve.

    So I'm wishing you bon voyage and look forward to hearing you had a good relaxing time on your holiday.

  13. starryuk

    starryuk Registered User

    Nov 8, 2012
    A Happy ending

    I have, today, returned from my holiday and am reporting that all went according to plan.

    All security points were passed without incident. In fact no one seemed the slightest bit concerned, nor did they ask for any of the paperwork which had been deemed necessary to show the authorities en route to the ship.

    Once on board, I contacted the Events Manager, who took the urns for safekeeping and we arranged a time and date for the ceremony. When it arrived, she appeared with the particular flowers I had requested and escorted us to a low deck. A table had been arranged for the service and and an enormous British flag had been hung close by.The captain and two senior officers were waiting near the open hatch. The service proceeded in the most dignified, respectful and emotional way and we lowered the urns, with the flowers, into the sea. Two days later a commemoration certificate appeared in my cabin with a map detailing the exact time and location mum and dad's ashes were committed to the deep. Just perfect.

    One final detail...there is a particular pretty stone called larimar mined on the island off whose shores we held the service. I have bought a ring with that stone in to keep as a personal memory.

    That's it then. Thanks to you all who have encouraged and advised me on what seemed at first a rather crazy idea, but what has turned out to be such a happy send off for mum and dad.
  14. LeedsLass

    LeedsLass Registered User

    Oct 13, 2014
    Hi starryuk that sounds really lovely and very appropriate for your parents. Glad it all went so well. X

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  15. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    So glad that everything went to plan. A very thoughtful and loving thing to do xxx
  16. Dimelza

    Dimelza Registered User

    May 28, 2013
    Oh how wonderful! My mum is still with us but she has a 3 month cruise every new year, this would be perfect when it's her time! I'd never have thought of it.
  17. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    North Somerset
    Well done for do such as a lovely thing. I'm sure they would have been very happy.
  18. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    Goodness bi somehow missed this thread - sorry. How marvellous. The service sounded lovely and very dignified. How nice to have that certificate and the ring is a lovely way to remember them and the occasion. Well done!

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