The myth of closure and how we can heal without it!

Have a Breakthrough Week! We were researching John and Jane Doe deaths.We were trying to understand why someone would actually abandon the remains of a loved one. According to our findings, it’s a way of life. So while you desperately want to collect those remains, there are others who just walk away from them for various reasons.

“And for funeral homes in North America, uncollected ashes are a fact of life. Estimates are that there are more than 2 million urns in funeral homes across North America, waiting to be collected. Some have been forgotten as an institutional problem. One of the reasons people leave the cremated remains of their loved ones at a funeral home is that they simply cannot decide what to do with the ashes. They are unaware of the many options available to them these days.”

What Happened During the Pandemic

During these unprecedented times around the world, our focus turned to the sad reality that funerals, wakes and the like are not happening right now. That is because of social distancing concerns. Our hearts feels the strain of that impossibility. It is hard to have a loved one die without that sort of ritual, and no matter what the religion. Honoring the death of a loved one seems to carry some sort of solemn ritual.

That leads us to our own experience which has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic. The fact that my brother’s wife never went to identify or claim his remains is an occasional thought to this day. We can only guess at what she was thinking. Maybe she was too depressed. Perhaps she no longer loved him. Or it’s possible that her mental illness got in her way. There are any number of possibilities. As it was, collecting his remains should have fallen to family members legally, but the fact was, it didn’t.

Having to “fight” for a family member’s remains is an incredibly strange thing to have to do. We had to hire a lawyer and it wasn’t easy even then. The director of unnamed funeral home, who had those ashes after the coroner’s office released them, refused to respond to our requests time and again. Nine months later, he finally agreed to “let” us have the ashes. By that time, the question remains – do they really belong to him? How do you know there wasn’t some sort of mixup?

Have a Breakthrough Week!

Make a decision that you’re going to break out from your habitual behavior and do something you’ve never done. That was one of the reasons that prompted us to write a book about the events surrounding a very strange death. And the fact that we made the re-visions that we did was a tremendously freeing experience. I’m sure there are others who’ve suffered a similar set of events and would love to hear the experiences you encountered. Perhaps you have a book in you too!

During this global pandemic, we thought about the lack of familiar rituals, which tend to bond us with friends and family. We wonder how the deprivation of that right now has affected people worldwide and pray that they have found ways to grieve and heal…

Feel free to share or comment. And of course…


My friend and mentor Peggy McColl has created the perfect opportunity for you where over the course of only 26 days from start to finish, you’re going to write a book — no “if’s”, “and’s” or “but’s” about it. It’s Called THE AUTHOR MARATHON

The book writing process can be therapeutic. It can help you work through past experiences as you share them inside your book with the intention of telling your story for the benefit of others. You quite literally can transform into a new person as you write.

Have a Breakthrough Week!

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Thank You from Renata and Tim