Blowing In The Wind
I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT DINNERTIME CONVERSATIONS can sure get weird. The other night as the family was scarfing down some basic Comfort Food the flow of the conversation took a definite turn to the unusual.
“If you get cremated what do you want done with your ashes?
Ashes? I don’t even smoke. Ashes and cremation are just not something I think about very much. After all, once I’m gone from the picture, I really don’t care. But, in an effort to participate in the conversation even though I had nothing worth saying – I spoke up. I contributed my thoughts on what to do with my remains, my leftovers.
Well, let me tell you that went over like a screen door in a submarine. I should have thought that through a bit more before opening my mouth, but why break with tradition.
The way I look at the whole issue of cremation I think the critical part is what are you supposed to do with the ashes? It’s like the dearly departed is still there but they are just taking up space. If the ashes are in a nice urn they can at least be decorative, but all too often the ashes are returned to the family in a cardboard box that looks like something cheap wine comes in.
The fashionable thing to do with the ashes is to sprinkle them at a place that was dear or important to the late beloved. It’s a nice thought, but it is not as easy as it sounds. My wife, the lovely and incredibly alive, Dawn, has stated her desire to have her ashes sprinkled on the basketball court at her favorite team’s field house. That is not going to be easy to pull off or much appreciated by the basketball team. The basketball court is just one of about 20 places she wishes to be delivered. This is going to take some planning.
Scattering ashes at the seashore is very popular for some reason. I don’t get it, but then I don’t swim. I have involuntarily participated in a seashore ash ceremony and it was a disaster.
I was down the beach a few yards from the couple carrying the urn filled with ashes. When they took off the lid and tried to hurl the ashes into the Pacific Ocean the wind blew Uncle Harry right back in their faces. Bits of Harry then came my way and we all got covered with his ashes. I doubt that this was how they envisioned it would go.
Dignified? Solemn? Private?
Awkward? Messy? One Hour Martinizing?
When that dinner table conversation started I was sorely tempted to say what I do when someone in the St. Arbucks gang wants to talk politics. As soon as they start chattering about things political I interrupt with,
“How about them Cubbies?”
That usually stops them. I should have done that when the dinnertime table talk moved on to cremation and ashes.
Coulda – Woulda – Shoulda.
It’s too late now.