Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What a good book can do for you.

I just finished reading an excellent little book called "Losing Mum & Pup" by Christopher Buckley on the subject of becoming an orphan.

I enjoyed the book tremendously as it was honest, funny, profane but when I finished it I think I became a bit depressed.

I started thinking about how claustrophobic a coffin might be & wondered if you could really be sure that the ashes you got back (assuming you went that route) were those of your loved one. I mean, how could you tell? And if I wondered about that, I wondered how I might ever be comforted by having a pot of doubtful ashes on my mantel or side table.

I guess I starting thinking about these things because my father is 97 and is dying very slowly of renal failure. He's not in pain & won't go on dialysis (I salute his decision) so it's just a matter of a short while, maybe months.

Whenever he dies he will be buried in a plain pine box next to his wife, my mother. One way or another, they'll be together again. So much for my thoughts about coffins.

But then I started thinking about Carol's wishes. She says she wants to be cremated & scattered in the Mediterranean. I promised I would do that.  Putting the questions of legitimate Carol ash aside, I then wondered what I would want. Once I scatter Carol, I'll never find her again. If I get scattered, where would I want to be -- the Mediterranean too? Is it comforting to think I'd be in the same sea?

And if I went the Jewish burial-in-a-pine-box route, where would I want to be planted? Ridgefield? Puerto Rico, next to my parents? Hmmmm. Not very romantic & besides, I'm 66 & all grown up now.