Agreeing with everything you've said, especially regarding the intimacy of it.
This is an extremely intimate thing, and not to be rushed.
There is no rush, he's not going anywhere, and I'm not under any deadline to make a "decision on what to do with them"
I don't have "to do" anything with them.
They (the ashes) are sufficient unto themselves.
They aren't clamoring to have some scattering ceremony, or being put up on "a mantle" (who the **** has a mantle anyway? That actually cracks me up)
I don't know. It's human nature I guess to want to make a ceremony, occassion, some kind of marker out of everything. There's got to be a deadline and time schedule for all of it in our minds.
Why? So we can rush on to the next thing? Decide what we're going to do at the 1 year anniversary of the death?
In the case of a death, all the pageantry (massively promoted by the funeral industry) that's developed isn't really about the dead, or the living, except for the living whose pockets are getting lined. I could say the same about the wedding industry, but that's an entirely different subject.
The stark facts are the grieving of someone's death, accepting it and how life is going to develop from here on out, is 100% an intimate matter. It isn't done during some 40 minute funeral ceremony, or when these imagined big group of friends and family are all gathered together for the purpose of "coming to terms"
Sure tears are shed when talking to friends, even when having to bring it up to strangers the tears well up depending on the emotional state of mind at the moment.
But the true work is occuring quite naturally, without a schedule. It happens in the moment when you go to make coffee in the morning, and realize the particular kind of pod he liked is almost gone.
You don't stand there and make some kind of movie scene about it. "Oh, the last Peets Coffee Major Dickenson Blend" posing/pausing poignantly to consider this.
You think it but while you're popping it in the machine and then going to pee while it brews.
Even if you made pre funeral arrangements for yourself, at the time of your death you are putting an enormous strain on at least one person. I say bullshit about "family decisions" One person ends up stepping up, prompted by whatever the funeral home guilt tripped that person into doing. They say something that amounts to a call to action, and anyone else that could be involved say "oh yeah, that's what we'll do" and uncomfortable/painful moment is gone.
All this, in a perverse way, is done to avoid the Real processing. That's done alone, during totally everyday moments where to casual observer it looks like you're watching TV, making scrampled eggs, sitting in class, working on a spreadsheet at your job, etc.
Truth is, his ashes in that plastic container can sit in its entirety or in part in that armchair for the next 10 years, or get moved to a closet, or tossed somewhere (or nicer term "scattering").
They are sufficient unto themself.