Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To Cremate or Not to Cremate

I have been struggling with something a little bit this past month and I am not sure what to do about it. My family and I created an area in our living room for Cayden. It is HIS table.
It has a fresh vase of flowers at all times, an angel candle, my digital picture frame showing all our pictures with him, his urn, and a few random other things.
Well, I am not sure why I feel this way, but I told our counselor the other day, that I feel like his grave is sitting in my living room.

I was so desperate to do something big in my home so that Cayden will always be thought of and remembered and now I am not sure I did the right thing...
I would so much prefer to have little pieces of him all over the house.
I don't know what I did wrong, but with his ashes and the vase of flowers, it just feels so much like his grave to me.

I am going to get off the subject just a little for a minute to explain how we came to the decision of cremating.
When we found out about Cayden having anencephaly, there was so many things we had to take care of before the birth. It was overwhelming...
I am sure quite a few of the Moms that read my blog know exactly what I am talking about.
Well one of the things that was one of the hardest decision to make, was whether we would cremate or not.
We didn't actually make the final decision until about a week before the birth.
I cried about it every night praying that God would lead us in a certain direction on what to do.
With Ryan being in the Coast Guard, we move every 4 years, so I couldn't imagine burying my baby boy and moving away from him....that is just something that I couldn't live with.
But on the other hand, I was having the hardest time thinking about my sons body being on fire and turned into ashes...the thought of it ripped my heart out.
Then I wondered how will I ever explain to my kids what cremating means.
We thought about burying him next to my grandpa in Vermont, but I couldn't bare the thought of him being so far away from me...
We ended up deciding that cremating was the only way that we could take Cayden everywhere we go.
The day the cremation was scheduled, I honestly didn't think that I was going to be able to go through with it...I felt sick at the thoughts going through my head. I wanted to call them and tell them not to do it.
Just thinking about it now, is making me fall apart.
It is done now and there is no turning back.
I can't say it is a decision that I am happy with, but I am not so sure I would be happy with either decision I had to make. There was no easy part about it!
I did what I had to so that Cayden will always be with us.
I would also like to add that I highly recommend a book called, "Tell Me Papa" if you need help explaining death and all the things that go along with it to a child.

Just the other day, my Lexy says, " Mama, what did that lady that came and picked up Cayden do with his body? Does God have it now?
I swallowed hard as I tried to fight the tears and explain that Cayden's soul/spirit went to God and that his body was no longer needed so we had it cremated. She asked what cremated meant, but I slowly talked about other things, in fear that it may scare her.
My counselor also told me to explain it to kids, that our body is like a peanut. The outer shell is just a cover and the best part is on the inside. Lexy seemed to understand a little better when I told her that.
Now since Anthony is quite a bit older, I explained everything to him and he seemed okay with it all. He said he is happy that Cayden is always with us. Knowing that makes me feel a little bit better.

There really is nothing easy about anything when you find out that your baby will not live. It is a long, heartbreaking road...but like I always say, I would do it again.

I am going to put my mind to work and try to think of ideas to make Cayden be more spread throughout my house and not just at his table. I am open to any ideas or suggestions :-)

I Love you Cayden.


  1. the decision to cremate or bury is not an easy one. When I was carrying Carleigh I chose a burial without even a thought for cremation but looking back its possible I could've made that choice had I looked into it more. There is pros/cons to each. But cremation is def the better option if you know you wont be in the same place and you wanna keep your baby close

  2. I know that you made the right decision! My friend originally buried her daughter and when they moved to TN (from MI) she was heartbroken. She actually had her removed from the cemetery and cremated. She felt SO much better having her near her.
    We had Andrew cremated too. When he was born we actually donated his body to the University of Michigan in hopes that they could learn from his life and death and safe other children (I don't know how...). At first we didn't think we were told we wouldn't get his ashes back and at first I thought I was ok with that- later I realized I wasn't and thankfully did get them back! I am with your counselor though- Our pastor said the same thing using a Diet Coke can in my hospital room... his body was the can, that beautiful soul- the good stuff was already gone- the body is just the container... so true!
    Thinking of you!