In Her Time of Dying: Ashes to Ashes

Hello to any new readers I’ve obtained lately. I apologize if you’ve come in hopes of finding a new mom blog to read and are all “WTF IS THIS”. It’s not always doom and gloom and talks about cremation and shit like that. I do say shit a lot though, so that’s not gonna change. I hope to return somewhat to normal soon, but I make no promises. In the meantime, settle in and know that what you’re reading is real life. And real life isn’t always pretty.


I e-mailed the funeral home/crematorium to make sure everything went OK with the cremation. I hadn’t heard back from them yet, and mom died two weeks ago. I have phone anxiety so I e-mailed them, because I’m a dork. I also got confirmation that my urns were delivered by FedEx and left at our door, because a signature hadn’t been requested. Hope no one tries to steal it thinking it’s an awesome late Christmas present because guess what, buddy… You’re gonna be reaaaaaal disappointed.

So anyway I went about my day when an incoming e-mail popped into my inbox. It was from the funeral home. I read the words:

“We have the cremains and will be pleased to do what you asked (split the ashes three ways into our urns). Warm regards, W.C.”

A simple, polite, to-the-point e-mail that made me react in a very surprising way. I suddenly felt terrified, anxious, like I was about to have a panic attack. My food tasted like cardboard and I felt like I was going to hyperventilate. I have no idea why the e-mail elicited such a response from me. What did I expect him to say? “Sorry, I decided to keep the ashes for myself”? “Oops, we lost them?” “I’m sorry, who are you again?” I guess a part of me hoped that I could just go on avoiding the fact that my mother, who was once a living and breathing human being is now reduced to ash and ground-up bone particles and now I have to go pick her up and have them split her three fucking ways. I guess the reality of that was something I wasn’t really prepared for. I had tucked the thought neatly away in the back of my brain to deal with later. I seem to be an expert at Dealing With Things Later.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. I guess it’s one of those moments that just jumps up and bites you right in the ass when you think you’re doing really well dealing with all of this. Chomp, here’s your dead mother’s “cremains”. Ugh. What a horrible word. Cremains. So how does this make me feel? Sad, scared, anxious, like I want to run away, I want to pretend it’s not real, puts my stomach in knots, like I don’t want to do it. That’s how thinking about picking up my mother’s cremains makes me feel. Ugh.