Ben Carruth's Burial: "I wanted to care for him completely"
In the late spring of 2016, Deb and George Carruth buried their beloved son Benjamin at River View Cemetery. He died suddenly, in an accident, just 32 years old. His grave is marked by a stunning limestone monument carved by Ben, a stonecarver like his father. Deb has agreed to share their story to help other families understand what's possible, even in the worst of circumstances. Read the full story.
"For us, the decision to emphatically not allow embalming was simple. But our plan was to cremate.... A conversation [with a mother who'd buried her son, at Ben's visitation] changed everything. I realized fully that not only did I need Ben to be near us, but I wanted to care for him completely. Where was the question, as our one requirement was a cemetery that allowed limestone monuments, as we intended to place one of Ben's stone carvings as his headstone.... It is an incredible blessing to us that River View allowed the use of Ben's stone, and that we were able to place him at the top of a rise under a sycamore tree, a favorite of ours....
"Friends from Ohio and Portland carried our Ben to his grave and then proceeded to cover him with soil. I remember just sitting on a bale of straw opposite those young men, absorbing the moments as shovels traded hands and in silence our son was cared for and buried.... Even the grass was laid back in place by those who knew and loved our son, my husband George and I laying the last piece together.
"The stone Ben carved has been set upon a black granite base. We visit each week, bringing fresh flowers, sunflowers when possible. We have purchased graves for ourselves next to our son and for our daughters a few feet away. I know now where I shall be when that day comes."