14 March 2010

Alex's Ashes

Since this trip we are about to take has so much to do with my daughter, Alex, I wanted to share something very special with you about her.  When she told me she wanted to be an organ donor, she also told me she wanted to be cremated and that means that I have her ashes.  Until now I haven't been sure what to do with them.  Nothing seemed right to me until just today. 

I am going to take her ashes with me on this trip and in each state we ride in, I will release some.  Ken and I just got home from the North Carolina sprinkling and I am pretty shaken up but it still feels right. 

Carrying anything on a trip like this is a challenge, so for practical reasons I decided to divide her ashes into 14 small baggies. When I began this difficult task, there was a blessing in it I did not expect... I discovered something in the ashes.  Something I thought I had lost a long time ago...  Buried deeply, inside a little clay mummy that Alex made, inside a plastic bag, was her pony tail.

This gift reassured me about my decision to "let her go" on this trip.  Ken holding my hand made me even more certain.  I love him so much.  For his support with Alex and for many more reasons.

I hope this wasn't too heavy for ya, but hey, this is where I'm at right now and this is going to be an emotional trip so if you're reading now, get ready.  It's going to be A BIG DEAL.


  1. The ability to share our pain and our joy is what makes us human. The loss of a child goes beyond any pain that can be inflicted upon a living soul. You and Ken are undertaking an incredible journey to honor Alex. This is your opportunity to share her with the world. So please share all the tears and laughter and everything in between.

  2. motherhood truly takes all forms, forever.....the 2 of you are blessed together forever~~love, E

  3. I am really touched. I cannot express the way I feel better than that.


  4. Alex's Ashes

    Down the street and around the bend
    The road goes on until the end
    Wherever they go she leaves something behind
    To honor the memory and to ease her mind
    Like a rainbow are these handfuls of ashes
    Covering the ground like silver sashes

  5. Thank you all for your kind words. This is such a spiritual journey already and with this aspect added, it is one of moving on as well. I've held onto these ashes for a decade and am relieved that it is so certainly time to release them. Alex would love this trip!

  6. I feel for you both. Thanks you fro sharing.

  7. Jen, although I know this is an old post-I just wanted to share my thoughts and hopes with you and Ken TODAY...I wish I had know you then, to follow this incredible journey in a present tense, although I am just as awed and touched by it NOW! You are an inspiration to me as a mother, your courage in the face of despair is so empowering to me,God blessed me with you at just the right time in MY life..I need the strength. Alex is lucky to have a mom as strong as you, to uphold her brave requests and honor her young wishes-what an amazing child..just like mommy! And Ken, Bless you for being there for this wonderful woman, you are Godsent.How amazing it must be to have the priviledge of sharing your life with her, and hers with you. I am so grateful for knowing you. I will think of your beautiful brave daughters eternal gift today. I will see her life in the new buds of spring, the sun on the wings of the red tailed hawk, the wind as it kisses my cheeks, for she is now part of it ALL. God bless you ALL!I left this anonymous, but I think you know my words well enough to know who it is! I love you!