The journey we have travelled since Gavin's sudden death could be described in so many ways. While you'd think it would be easy to describe in one or two words - words like awful and painful - it's so much more than that. Yes, it's true that our journey has been painful... and awful... but it's also been unique and beautiful and heart wrenching and filled with surprises and covered in hope. We have been able to see beauty in our most painful moments, for which I am so grateful.
Yesterday was no exception. Brian and I drove to the funeral home with Gavin's urn and we finally had it filled with his ashes. Cremation was a very personal decision, but one we felt comfortable with. Brian is not aware of the cremation or the ashes and we are following his lead with that. We have been very honest with him all along and, when the time is right, we will gently explain to him (in a developmentally appropriate way) what cremation means and why we chose that for Gavin (and Darcy).
The way I see it, we are all SO much more than our physical bodies. They are merely suitcases carrying our most precious cargo - our spirit and our soul. We really have no use for our bodies once we die - so why not let others benefit from what our bodies have to offer by donating organs if we can? I've said this before...and I'll say it forever...donating Gavin's organs brought us great comfort. Once that was over, cremation was the next step. In a way, the cremation was a symbolic gesture to show how Gavins' physical body, which often failed him, was only a small part of what made him special. Probably the smallest part. Gavin had this light that shone from the inside out - and he let everyone see it. His spirit was strong and his soul was kind and loving.
Everyone makes their own end of life decisions based on what makes them the most comfortable - and I certainly don't think there is a right way or a wrong way or an only way. But I will tell you something pretty selfish. I couldn't bear as Gavin's Mommy to leave his body in a cemetery. I wanted his remains home with us.
The truth is, Gavin is everywhere...and I know that. We see signs of him every day and we don't need to be in the presence of his ashes for that. But for some reason, it just feels better to have his ashes with us.
I hope, when the time is right, that we are given the wisdom and the grace to explain to Brian - and someday to Hope - why we made this choice and what it means. But more importantly, I hope they walk away knowing that even though a body might die...that person's soul and spirit lives on forever and will never leave them. Ever.
I believe that.
And I'm holding onto that every single day.