I’m doing something today that I don’t want to do. This brings a certain uneasy finality to an unfinished, but inevitable outcome.
I’m filling out mortuary paperwork.
Mom doesn’t want to be buried. She wants to be cremated. She also doesn’t want a ceremony.
Now, I have to find the humor in this – I’m using an online crematory recommended by the hospice chaplain.
So, yeah, you fill out paperwork, and when Mom dies, they dispatch somebody/something to get her body within the 4 hours that everybody talks about (it may be a law or just an accepted norm, I don’t know), and then they take it to, I guess, one of their many facilities, and do the deed.
I don’t know how I get the ashes…in the mail? Maybe email…
Damn it, this is weird.
Then I get to decide if I want to keep Mom’s ashes on the dresser next to my bed (freak out, wifey!) or scatter them illegally someplace Mom really liked. It probably won’t be the Grand Canyon.
When I was 13, my grandfather, mom, and I went to Arizona. This was the summer after my grandmother died. My mom had always said she wanted to see the Grand Canyon. She made it out like it was a place she really wanted to visit. Like it was a life-long goal of hers. Bucket list sort of stuff.
So we travel 18 fucking hours, almost crashed because some dipshit came this close to side swiping us, and we arrive at the Grand Canyon in the early morning.
It’s absolutely stunning. The scene is incredible. Sun just coming up, not ungodly hot yet, and spectacular.
Mom and I walk up to the edge. Mom lights up a cigarette, puffs frantically like she often did, and when she was finished with her smoke, she abruptly said, “Let’s go!”
Yes, my first visit to the Grand Canyon, one of the seven wonders of the world, lasted all of 3 minutes.
Much later, when I was 24 or 25, I drove down there by myself and spent a wonderful day in the Canyon, all by myself.
Well, it wasn’t wonderful then, but it is now 🙂 I blew out my knee, drove to Las Vegas, got a room and iced it, and went to sleep. As soon as I woke up, I drove 9 hours home.
But that makes for a great memory. Unlike the time we went there as a family.
I’ll probably end up dumping her ashes at Lake Tahoe. She liked to gamble and that was one of the places she could do it.
One day, I may tell you about our death-defying drive home from Stateline. But probably not.