He Came Home



My husband Don came home this week. He passed away October 18, and according to his wishes, was cremated. Monday we picked up his ashes and carried them home in a cedar box made by a local craftsman. For the six months he was in long term care, he asked to come home almost daily. I wish he could have done it some other way. Right now he is in his room, a sunny corner place with windows on the east and south. We will decide where he will rest forever after the party.

He was very firm about not having a funeral, not wanting people to stare at his remains, all laid out and formal. Those who knew him know he wasn’t a formal person. He never tucked in his shirt, hated to comb his hair and in his later years refused to wear his teeth. He enjoyed teasing people, especially women, who were his best friends. That beautiful cedar box says more about him than any silk-lined casket ever could. And so we will have that requested party as soon as the family can gather at the same time. Everyone he knew will be invited, as well as those who know the family members.

In December we would have been married 62 years. True, some of them were bumpy indeed, but we both were stubborn enough to hang in there, anticipating better times. And those times came. After he retired, we traveled together. Both of us loved the west, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah. We stood in awe of the Grand Canyon, the painted desert, the Rocky mountains. We visited places like Monument Valley, ghost towns like Virginia City, mining towns, the high desert and big sky country. Always driving to see every inch we could.

It would be fine indeed if his celebration of life could be held near our 62nd anniversary on December 19, and it is planned for that month, but probably earlier than that. It has always been difficult to separate our anniversary celebration from Christmas get-togethers, so often they were held at the same time. Our family is big on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, especially Christmas.

 For now, I’m at peace. I have brought him home where he wanted to be. May he rest in peace as well.



About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
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41 Responses to He Came Home

  1. Sorry for your loss, Velda. May you both be at peace.

  2. Staci Troilo says:

    Praying for peace for both of you, Velda.

  3. Diana Bolling says:

    The two of you had a wonderful adventure together. I will keep you in my prayers.

  4. So sorry for your loss, Velda. I lost my husband two months ago. He didn’t want a funeral either. He always said he wanted a party. So we had him cremated. We celebrated his life the following Saturday.
    Funerals are sad, and it’s sad enough when you lose someone. But to celebrate their life is full of laughter, hugs, and memories. It was awesome. I’ve told my kids I want the same thing when I pass. I hope your friends and family are as great and many as mine. They’ve been lifesavers.

    • Shirley, I did not hear of your loss. So glad you had family and friends gathered round. Nothing is more important than the kinds words and deeds from them. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Linda Norman says:

    I remember him sitting outside at the weekly meeting. Always enjoyed visiting with him for a few minutes before going in

  6. Linda Norman says:

    I remember him sitting outside at the weekly meeting. Always enjoyed visiting with him for a few minutes before going in
    Glad he’s home now
    You are in my prayers

  7. Thanks for sharing that Velda. I’ll always remember my weekly check-ins with Don at Good Shepherd. You are in our thoughts and hearts. Peace to ya.

  8. Jan Morrill says:

    I love that picture of you and Don, Velda. I’m glad to hear you’re at peace and that Don is home with you. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Love you. ❤

  9. Jan Morrill says:

    I love that photo of you and Don, Velda, and I’m glad Don is home with you now. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Love you. ❤

  10. Such a gift to have those years together. He was a lucky man to have you by his side. My thoughts are with you as you adjust to this new phase of life.

  11. Margo says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful testiment to your marriage. I’m sending you a hug and lifting you up.

  12. Donis Casey says:

    Beautiful words, Velda. Thank you for sharing.

  13. cjfosdick says:

    Oh Velda, just reading “He Came Home” brought me to tears. I didn’t know he had been so sick.
    A heap of Condolenses to you!!

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss, Velda. Sending lots of love.

  15. Dear Velda,
    With your great heart, I’m sure a December memorial will find your family and friends gathering in celebration of Don’s life and your many years together. Thank you for sharing.

  16. LeAynne says:

    Although few words ever passed between Don and me, I could feel his warmth. And several times over the years Tim commented about how much he enjoyed visiting with Don.
    Thanks for sharing that lovely photo of the two of you.
    So very sorry for your loss.

  17. LeAynne says:

    Few words ever passed between Don and me, but I could feel his warmth. And several times over the years Tim commented on how much he enjoyed visiting with Don.
    Thanks for sharing that lovely photo.
    So sorry for your loss.

  18. John Biggs says:

    What a beautiful testament. I never knew your husband, Velda. After reading this, I wish I had.

  19. OneRiding1 says:

    Ah, Velda, what a wonderful word memorial, a perfect cedar box, and coming home. Thanks for gathering memories and sharing those with folks. I hold both of you in respect. Hugs and caring,

  20. Miss Velda:
    I met your husband at Eureka Springs, the year of my visit and considered him an alright guy. We didn’t get to talk, and I’m sure he never remembered me, but I did remember him. I too want to be cremated but my daughter won’t hear of it at the moment. I have exposed my wishes to have my remains scattered on the nearest water at the time of my death, but…who knows. Heaven knows, I’ won’t.

    Keep on writing, it’ll take your mind off the present.
    Best regards,
    James M. Copeland

    • Thanks James. It’s good to hear from you. Your memory of meeting my husband is appreciated. Perhaps you’ll get your wish in the end when your daughter rethinks your request. If not, you’re right, you’ll be busy elsewhere by then.

  21. K. Lyn Wurth says:

    Velda, I didn’t know you were going through this. Thank you for sharing your real life with all of us. You were missed at WWW 2015, and I hope to meet you someday. Blessings and peace as you remember your dear husband.

  22. Thanks so much for your kind words. I don’t make it every year to WWW, but hope to get there again soon so we can meet.

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