Friday, March 07, 2008

Dad's Ashes

My Dad came home yesterday.  His ashes, that is.

The Funeral Home had called me last Thursday to say they were ready and it took me a full week to gather up whatever it was that I needed to gather up before I could get them.

What is left of my father now resides in a nondescript rectangular cardboard box about the size of a loaf of bread.

The box came in a plastic bag inscribed with the Funeral Home's name and insignia.   They seem like nice people.  They were the only place I called that did not try to sell me a long list of additional items at exorbitant, some might even say emotionally extortion-al prices.  They were number five on the list.

Why, for instance would you want to cremate someone in a ten thousand dollar casket?  That seems less like a show of "respect" and more like an expression of something I hesitate to hang a tag-line on.

Still, carrying your Father home in a cardboard box inside a plastic bag is an unsettling experience.

Putting him out on the table was something else entirely different.  I was transfixed.  I couldn't take my eyes off the box.  If I left the room, I would find myself coming back just to look at it.

I had to leave the house and have dinner with a close friend because I couldn't be alone in the apartment with the box of Dad's ashes any longer.

Now I just have to find a boat-shaped urn.

But that's a whole other story.


Blogger Ovens2Betsy said...

When my mom's father passed away she and her brother decided to scatter his ashes in the bay in front of our summer cottage in Maine. They started the day with a couple of breakfast cocktails, then my dad rowed the two of them out to the middle of the bay. It was a tad breezy, and when they opened the cardboard box a bunch of styrofoam peanuts came flying out (why the ashes were packed that way, I'll never know). Given they had quite the buzz going they erupted into uncontrollable giggles. However, I'm sure grandpa was laughing along with them.

May there be lots of joy and laughter at your father's wake!

3:16:00 PM  

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