Struggling to let go of my dads ashes

I lost my dad on 5th of march 2017 to cancer which caused him to have a stroke. I have memories of my dads final days which I think will stay with me because he was always a strong man before he got sick.
He took his last breath after 4 days of fighting.
Part of me was happy he wasn’t in any pain but I now bottle the pain of losing him until now I hope this message on here will guide me down the right path.
I know I need to move on but I keep thinking of the DNR I signed and it breaks my heart, sometimes I feel I gave up on him, it hurts that much I can’t bring myself to let go of his ashes.
My wife can’t understand why im holding on to his ashes, to be honest I don’t know either, I just can’t bring myself to let go of his ashes.

Hi Shana,

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your dad and that you have been bottling up the pain. It’s really important to have outlets for your feelings, so I hope that writing things down on this site helps a little to get them off your chest.

There is no rush to do anything with the ashes if you don’t feel ready. Some people like to keep them at home where they can be close to them, others bury or scatter them in a special place, and some use services that make a small amount of the ashes into a keepsake or jewellry. There’s no one right way - it’s about what’s right for you, and you can take all the time you need to decide.

There was a conversation here on the community a little while ago called What to do with the Ashes where a lot of people discussed this issue - maybe you’d find it helpful to have a read?

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Dear Shana,
It’s such a sad time and Priscilla is right there is no rush. It took me twelve months to pick up my Dad’s ashes and after much consideration I decided that it is ok to scatter them in various places that were special to him and me and my brother. I like to think of him as being more an energy that’s constantly around in nature so the ashes to me no longer felt like him as such.
Don’t give yourself a hard time or a specific date. Take your time, look at all the options and do what feels right.
Lots of love and luck.

Sorry to hear of your loss many people hold on to their ashes forever and have them on the mantelpiece in a container etc -there is no set rule on what to do its up to the individual person. I still have kept my dearest Mike mobile phone number on mine as I cant bear to delete it-even though he died 16 months ago

Sorry you are on this journey. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. My Dad passed away in Sept 2016 and my Mum has his ashes. There is no set time to deal with things. It is each to there own. You are also right about the memories. They won’t go. But they will become less prominent as time goes. I was with my Dad at the end and it won’t ever leave me. The memory would reappear at random moments. Still does at times and still just as hard, but it will become less regular. But not easier. You didn’t do anything wrong signing the DNR. We had to turn my dad’s support off after scans showed his stroke had caused untreatable damage. No one can prepare you for that. My advise is don’t judge yourself or put pressure on yourself to do anything others say you should. Even this is just advise, it is up to you. It is the hardest journey you’ll ever face. Take it day by day. It hasn’t even been a year! If you haven’t already, I’d recommend bereavement support. Try Cruse Bereavement Care. It’s free and an open forum for you to discuss you and your journey. Take care.

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