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View Diary: "The Urn is Ready," he said (147 comments)

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  •  Urns, ashes, etc. (15+ / 0-)

    Dear Dave --

    My heart is with you, as it has been since the day I learned of Jim's passing.

    My mom died 12 years ago, and her ashes are still in the box the funeral home provided, sitting on my father's dresser. This is not my choice; it is his choice, and I don't really have a say in the matter.

    Nonetheless.

    I encourage you to read one of the most raw, honest descriptions of ashes (and what to do with them) in Dave Eggers' book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. See in particular pages 379-406.  Eggers writes:

    "I turn to the box.
    The box is my mother, only smaller.
    The box is not my mother.
    Is the box my mother?"
    Later, he questions himself as he throws her remains into Lake Michigan:
    "How lame this is, how small, terrible.  Or maybe it is beautiful.  I can't decide if what I am doing is beautiful and noble and right, or small and disgusting.  I want to be doing something beautiful, but I am afraid that this is too small, too small, that this gesture, this end is too small -- Is this white trash? That's what it is!  We were always so oddly white-trashy for our town, with our gruesome problems, and our ugly used cars, our Pintos and Malibus and Camaros, and our '70s wallpaper and plaid couches and acne and state schools -- and now this tossing of cremains from a gold tin box into a lake?  Oh this is so plain, disgraceful, pathetic --

         Or beautiful and loving and glorious! Yes, beautiful and loving and glorious!"

    The reason I'm quoting Eggers is that he speaks to something raw inside us all.  He talks about what is usually not talked about; he goes into harrowing detail.  He raises questions that I've asked about my own mother's ashes. Is that really my mom in that box? If it is, what does that mean? How do I survive that? How do I honor her? How do I go on? What the fuck can it mean for my identity -- and hers -- if my mother is in that box?

    These are hard days, Dave. I'm glad that you're eating. I'm glad that you're sleeping. Please keep writing about this when you feel like it.     {{{{{{{{ HUGE HUGS }}}}}}}

    Yes, we need to talk about this. Please sign the dKos Petition to start a national conversation about gun control.

    by GreenMtnState on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:30:39 PM PST

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