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Letting Go Once More
Grief Journey, Losing a Child

Letting Go Once More

It will be seven years in December since our beloved daughter, Buttercup, left us via suicide for higher realms than this. We scattered her ashes in the Four Directions and buried what was left on our family farm, next to both sets of her great-grandparents. My original intention had been to bury her next to my older son’s dog in the tiny woods near the creek. She dearly loved that dog, the gentle Pitbull who thought she was a human being.

My mother protested, saying Buttercup should be buried close to the house, next to the ancestors. I relented, and we then buried her next to them, in a tiny grove of birch and pine. We soon buried her beloved dog beside her within a year, thinking we would also be laid to rest next to them one day.

This scenario was not meant to be. Shortly afterward, a deep rift developed in the family over selling the property which contained the gravesites. I was compelled into digging up Buttercup’s and her dog’s remains and re-burying them in a public graveyard two hours from our home. Yet in the back of my mind, I wished I had done as I wanted to in the first place, to bury Buttercup’s ashes next to my son’s dog, on another part of the property.

I had retained some of Buttercup’s ashes, along with some of her dog’s ashes, thinking my sons might want to do something special with them in time. But I decided on Thursday while driving home from work, that I didn’t want to leave them with any hard decisions in the future when I might no longer be here myself. I made the decision to bury all the ashes before the snow fell and the ground froze too hard to dig into. I wept thinking of it all – of once again letting go of the only remaining physical aspect of Buttercup. She was and is such a shining Light and I miss her so very much. But I knew I would be doing what she would have wanted me to do in the first place, and this would bring us both Peace.

Yesterday, it snowed here, over two inches, and I was concerned we might have missed our chance to complete the burial. It was nearing dusk when we finally arrived at the farm and gathered our small family group together in the little woods. A large tree had fallen near the gravesite of our son’s dog, and much of the foliage was overgrown around it as well. It felt powerfully serene though, in the middle of towering and ancient white pines, with the creek softly babbling nearby.

My older son dug the hole, next to the small wooden cross my grandson had made to mark his beloved dog’s gravesite. He then combined Buttercup’s and her dog’s ashes together, and we all took turns placing the dirt over them. My son tenderly made a small heart of leaves over the new gravesite. I read a beautiful and moving poem by John Roedel, as the sleet began to fall suddenly and crisply. We all embraced in one large loving hug to remember Buttercup and her two best dog friends, now together once more. I cried a bit, but I also felt a welcome relief, knowing Buttercup had come full circle back to where she belonged and needed to be.

“It is finished.” Peace!

About the Author

Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »