We brought some of Madi's ashes to the beach and discussed how best to leave some there: facing the same dilemma I had in Colorado, the same ashes, we ultimately brought them home and put them back in her bedroom. Itt needs to be a perfect setting for us. In Colorado it was magical for me to actually be in the places that I've seen such happy pics of Madi in at the XMO Winter Camps. While the snow was abundant and beautiful early on, it did warm up but gradually got muddy.... not an ideal picture when contemplating leaving her ashes. While Madison had said "they're just be ashes" without offering any thoughts for the 'where'... it's still important for us. As in Colorado last month, the same went for Carpinteria this week: the beach was not ideal this trip. Recent storms have dumped huge amounts of natural debris from the mountains dumping them in to the ocean, then washing that mess ashore. We'd actually never seen it worse. We envisioned standing in the water during high-tide, then pondered the beach debris, and said 'naw, not this trip... the beach is a mess'. Yes here, not now. All in all, it was a nice four day getaway being mostly unplugged. Angela's brother Doug and his family Rikke, Zoe, Hannah and her BF Jack joined us Tuesday night for dinner and a bonfire. (Thanks for bringing KFC up :-)
Exchanging ideas with Madison's mums, we thought that it would feel impersonal to simply pour Madi's ashes into any scenery: we'll pour her ashes into our hands, then release them through our fingers when its the right place, right time. Colleen and her husband Michael are on the Big Island at one of Madison's favorite snorkeling places on the planet. They took some ashes with them... A right place and right time is up to them...
Good Grief, a book by Granger Westberh: he wrote about what he describes as the ten stages of grief. Stage 11 for me is all-inclusive... all of the above. There are certainly triggers for me, for her mums, likely for you too... we see them in Madi's social media feeds and with mutual connections. Make no mistake, please don't stop!! If someone posts on Instagram, we see "Madison_J is following... " him or her too. It seems silly (okay, ludicrous) to click on her her name in someone else's post and expect a new picture or post, but good to reminisce. I plan on updating Madison's FB page this week.
I feel some puzzle pieces are fitting better in to place. Throughout all of the stages I've read about grief, I can't help but having an overwhelming adoration of Madison's absolute determination, unwavering faith, and her wicked sense of humor. No matter when this journey ends for, she understood that life is a journey, not the destination... and she was going Home. The adoration and pride are not in Granger's stages. I never had the guilt or anger stages or at least not yet, but I really don't expect either.
That said, some beach pics! Madison's dog Bailey's head was too heavy for her neck, more lounging. The ever-vigilant Bailey aka Mrs. Kravitz ensuring all is on the up-and-up with the casually suspicious looking perps in the spot next to us. Hey, I woofed down my crappy dinner and I see you by the fire with real food, let me out! Finally (no I'm not tired, don't put me in the rig), her ET-phone-home pose.