Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ashes to Ashes

It has been 2 1/2 years since my Mom died and a year since I buried her ashes in the cemetery where her sister and her parents lie. Mom would only be disappointed that I did it LEGALLY (thanks Rick) she really wanted me to sneak out and dig a hole and drop her in. Sorry, I am the oldest and I have that law-abiding oldest thing going. I even stop at stop signs--in the middle of the night. My youngest sister wanted some ashes as she was not ready to let go and my brother pointed out that she never would be ready, so let's "git er done". I was going to take the box of ashes to the funeral home and have them get some out. I had some idea I might not be able to stand to do it myself. Then I felt silly and found a nice country Mom style little wooden box and just decided to DIY. The ashes are not what you expect, I experienced no dust, no fluffy floaty stuff in the air. They were in a heavy plastic box that looked like a really thick encyclopedia on the bookshelf. The ashes are actually very very dense. They were sealed in a heavy duty baggy. I had to cut the tie to get them open and took the bag out of the box and sat it on my work space, talking to mom all the while. I noticed the bag slowly spreading out and losing its boxlike shape, but so what?? I carefully spooned out a nice amount of ashes into a baggy and put it in the wooden box and sealed it symbolically with sealing wax. Then I tried to put the bag of ashes back in the box--no way, they are so dense and heavy there was nothing to do but pour them into a container, another bag, put the official funeral home baggy back into the box, and gently pour the ashes out of the walmart sack back into the box, put on a new zip tie and hope the people at the cemetery wouldn't have an opinion about the broken seal.(Mom might have preferred an aldi's bag) I finally got everything back into place and was able to satisfy my sister and my mother's wishes to be buried next to her mother. There was a lot of conversation and laughter going on and I certainly wished my yaya cousin was here that day to share it with me. I went alone to the cemetery and the day was cool and sunny--perfect--and I had never noticed how beautiful the view was out over the farmland. I had only ever been there in the heat of loss. I found it very lovely to be fulfilling my mom's last wishes on such a lovely day and past the fresh grief of the loss.

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