Among the many difficult things Heather and I had to do in the wake of Maddie’s passing was figure out where in our home we would keep her remains. This was as hard as you might imagine.

We had many questions. “Where do you keep someone who means so much to you?” “Is one room more meaningful than another?” “Is there a ‘wrong’ place to put an urn?”

Initially we placed Maddie’s urn on a table in our main room and surrounded it with photos of her. This seemed like the best option at the time as many people who loved Maddie visited us each day, and this gave them the opportunity to pay her their respects.

Once things quieted down we decided to move Maddie’s urn and photos into our bedroom. This not only kept Maddie’s urn safe, but also allowed us to feel like she was with us each night. “Goodnight, Maddie,” we’d say before we turned out the light. “We love you.”

Upon buying the new home, however, I realized we needed to find the perfect place for Maddie’s urn since this might be the home we live in for the rest of our lives. I soon spotted a great built-in shelf in the main room:

on her stage
Just to the right of the balloon.

“Maybe that is the perfect place for Maddie’s urn,” I thought. People who loved Maddie could pay their respects to her, and she would be in the main room… forever part of the family.

Heather wasn’t so sure though. She worried about how Annie would feel to have her deceased sister’s urn literally looming over her as she grew up. That might be a troubling experience for a child. Heather also worried that it might be unsettling to some of our guests.

After discussing this for a while I eventually agreed Heather was right. The last thing I want is for Annie to feel uncomfortable in her own home.

It’s a very personal decision where to place the urn of a loved one in the home.  For another family the main room may be the right choice. For now at least, we have chosen to put Maddie in our bedroom once again.

As for that built-in shelf area in our main room? We have filled it with photos of our entire family. There are photos of Maddie, but also me, Heather, Annie, and even Rigby. While it may be impossible in this lifetime, it is nice to be able to look over and see us all together in one place.