Today my Mom and my sisters and I went to St. John's Cathedral to the Columbarium (http://www.stjohnscolumbarium.com/index.html). It is here that Dad's ashes will rest.
We spent a fair bit of time getting a feel for the place, picking out a niche, reminiscing about Dad, laughing and crying. It's not easy to say goodbye to a parent. I do talk to him in some way every day, aloud, in thought, with a memory and a laugh, I really just wish I could hear him talk to me, one more time. I am very grateful for the time I spent with him on the morning of his death, we talked and talked, I was late for work. The last thing I did that morning before leaving was kiss my Dad on the cheek and told him to stay warm, and that I loved him. He told me not to work too hard, I smiled and left. Man, just writing that makes my chest constrict and tears prickle.
It was hard. Mom broke down. Deb and Danielle too. I didn't outwardly but it was all I could do not to. One of us had to not do that for Mom, and I was okay with that being me. I've had my moments, they could have theirs today.
Dad will be safe there. It is serene and soothing as soon as you walk into the building, down the stairs and into the niche area. Family members can come whenever they want to sit and reflect. I was pleasantly surprised with the place, I wasn't expecting it to be like that. I pictured a wall of plaques, impersonal and utilitarian. It is nothing like that. I feel okay about Dad being there ... I feel good about him being there.