Check trail conditions, get diretions (I haven't been there in nine years), pack food, camera, water. Sounds like any other hiking trip. Oh, except, don't forget the wooden box of Aimee's ashes.
|This box contains the vast majority|
of Aimee's ashes
As I mentioned in my post the other day ("Collision Course"), my therapist told me how important this was as a way for me to say goodbye in a way that I had control over, unlike the day she died. But it hasn't been that simple.
My goodbye is not anyone else's goodbye, but to some of them it seems to feel like I'm imposing that.
I'm thinking of Donna in particular. She is having a VERY hard time with this. We had a good talk last night. Well, I talked and she cried and talked through her tears. Bottom line, she is not ready to say goodbye, and may never be. I get that. In most cases, the loss of a child is so much different, and deeper, than the loss of a spouse. If I try to see things from her perspective, I've moved out Aimee's clothes, gave away many of Aimee's books, packed up her jewelry and other personal effects (saved for Rowan in a large black trunk), and sold Aimee's car. Now I'm literally getting rid of Aimee herself, or at least what's left of her physical presence. It's easier for Donna to see what is gone than what I've kept, and that's understandable. She insisted she wasn't angry with me at all, just hurt at the loss of her daughter. But regardless, this event is really hard for her to accept.
The pain seems rooted in one major difference between Donna and I in this grief - I need to, can, and will move on. Donna can't and won't. I don't say that with even an ounce of recrimination. It's the nature of our different relationships we had with Aimee, and the different way we process grief. Donna clings to physical abjects and reminders. I cling to memories and emotions.
And some of those memories are tied up in tangible objects. I kept cards Aimee gave me. My wedding ring. Her wedding dress. Lots and lots of photos, letters, and journals.
But this 'object', this box of ashes, this is going to go. It's essentially the last thing of hers that I'm holding onto that I ultimately don't want to keep. Besides, it was her wish that her ashes be scattered. And I've known I needed to do this since shortly after Aimee's death.
So I, along with my best friend, will hike that mountain (God willing), and set Aimee free in the beautiful nature she loved so much.
And I will say my goodbye.