|Ashes, ashes, we all fall down, Part I
||[Apr. 15th, 2008|11:13 am]
’m still in sleep deficit, thanks to realizing at 9:30 last night that my easy-peasy tax preparation (I’d done all of the hard, business-related stuff and only had the adding up the various W-whatevers and filling in the blanks already) was missing the W-whatever that allows me to deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes. It was found, but going to bed early didn’t happen. So, today, I pull a previously written entry, from back when I had a bit more time and few more operating synapses. |
I know that it’ll come as a shock to you that I have little to no reverence when it comes to death, dead bodies and all of the associated pomp and rituals. What little I can scrape up, I try to reserve for respecting the grief of those touched by the passing. (See, I WANTED to write “touched by the dead thing” but out of respect, I didn’t. Er, um...well...)
Remember, the empathy pouch,it is small and often empty. So, if you are currently grieving or close to it or just don’t think that a dead person could possibly be funny...
When the STBX’s Dad passed away, he was out in the Midwest visiting a relative at the time. So, they had him cremated and shipped back East to Tim and his brother until they could decide what to do with him. Dad hadn’t left or expressed any kind of desire or plan. (See, out of respect for the dead, I didn’t write: Typical. Dang, there I go again. I will be in so much trouble if they ever invent software that just types as you think. No, back to respect – could be a lovely man, but planning for the future...spur of the moment as only a lifelong alcoholic can be. Wait, I need to stop and clamber out of this hole I’ve dug. Hang on. Oof.)
Anyway, Tim and his brother couldn’t decide either (yeah, I know, the shock continues, but that's a burden I can sympathize with), so, I got my big thrill when the doorbell rang, the mailman handed me a box, a clipboard to sign and I got to yell up the stairs “Tim, your Dad’s here!”
Which still makes me giggle.
But then we had to figure out what to do with him. Tim would have been happy to just set the box in the living room or upstairs in the office. But there is no way I am sharing living space with a dead person, no matter how desiccated and crumbled. Which traumatized my Mom, who had envisioned splitting herself and my Father into two pairs of bookends so that my brother and I could each have some of them hanging around in the living room. I told her that I would scatter her anywhere – but no way was she sitting on a shelf next to the television for the rest of my life.
I know, you’re thinking – wait a minute, aren’t you Halloween chick, gross-girl, don’t you have a skull sitting above your television right now? Don’t you have a squirrel skull on your dashboard? Didn’t you just buy a sculpture made from vertebrae?
Sure. But I don’t KNOW who they once were. To me, when you die, you’re gone. You’re in my head, my heart, my soul – but that thing lying there is just dead flesh. And if I’m not going to eat it, it needs to get right back in the cycle of life, not be weirdly sealed up in some decorative container like a fetish object. I understand that I’m in the minority here, but I don’t really care. It’s just a constant reminder to me that now you’re all rotted or burned up and just sitting there in your cement container or olivewood urn. Blech. I would rather remember you as you were – or as you’ve become: part of a tree, blending with the world, worm poo, whatever. That just seems more comforting to me.
So, we're discussing where Dad should go, because by now, Tim and Brother have decided that it would be best, since that summer the family reunion was scheduled to happen near the family plot, they would take Dad back out there and have a memorial service for the family and inter him with the rest of the clan. Of course, if we'd decided this earlier, Dad could have just stayed out there instead of being shipped back east and then sent back.
But, what the hell, Dad always was a traveler. So, I suggested that we put him in the outside room, the unfinished family room that we use as a giant storage closet. Tim countered with the basement, and THAT was funny since then I could say "well, he always did want to live in our basement" but we had a leaking pipe issue at the time in the basement and I could NOT handle thought of Dadmud.
When I asked him what was wrong with the outside room, he sheepishly admited that he was worried that Dad would get cold, because it was unheated.....
But Tim did finally put Dad out there -- and I felt a little less coldhearted when I saw that Tim put him on the shelves with the Halloween stuff and mounted a demon head on the box. Seemed appropriate.
But then what happened to Dad? Oh, that’s Part II...