On Getting The Call

It was bound to burn, because we couldn’t afford much else.

The finish of coffins, the beauty of earthly swallow, every bell, whistle, and anything should have been hers.  I’m just sorry I couldn’t afford in death the everything I promised myself I’d eventually give her in life.  When we searched online, my uncle had already told us the story about Grandma.  She, thankfully, had life insurance, so we got her a plot when we buried her.  

I watch, well, far too many movies.  Far too much TV.  I remember the episode of Smallville,  when Pa Kent died, it was basically a bait and switch for the CW to keep Lana around a while longer, and destroy the boy Clark Kent was by way of his father.  I remember, how pretty it was.  Snow falling, onyx sheen of the casket, the wonderful everything.  The same can be said of Uncle Ben, and Norman Osborn in the nearly flawless Spider-Man of 2002.

Don’t you burn me. 

This though, wasn’t the case, as we, the girlfriend and I, plowed down a list of burial spots, areas of land to fill with death, and come up with bubkiss.  Well, not true bubkiss, there was plenty of fine locals that we could find, but none that the sad, masochistic salaries of a self-involved I’m-going-to-be-a-writer-someday-just-you-watch-and-see, and a underpaid hairdresser could afford.   I can pull from my 401k, I can take out personal loans, I can try, hard as I can, to cheat the business of death.  I’d like to think at least, that these sentiments were in all ways true.  The Robinson’s have a thing against the fire.  Mom, like Grandma, for all their hell-raising over a filthy bedroom, wanted nothing more but to be put in the dirt.  This was true, I feel, even in the end.

 

Well, okay, I can’t take the loan cause’ you know, bad credit, but we can do a joint loan.  Shit, we can’t afford this can we?

Baby, oh god, baby we have to take care of your little brothers, we have to live, and it’s fucking shitty, and I hate that I have to say this, but, we need to think of cremation. 

In a sick fucking way, I was happy that it wasn’t me who had to say it.

I didn’t have to say, that despite carrying me for 9, (more like 10 since I was a stubborn little shit) months, that I’d burn her.  I didn’t have to say, because she was just as blindsided by this as we were, because there was no insurance against incineration, that everything she’d been would be shoved into a vase.  I didn’t have to say, sorry ma’ we got bills. 

This last week I’ve had dreams where, in no small way, she was around.  The first was pretty straight forward, she’d been a ghost, but nothing demented or pulled from an episode of Supernatural, just kind of hanging around, hounding me about not finishing school.  The third, well, that was kind of odd.  We’d been taking a road trip, myself, my older brother, and our two teenage brothers, mom in the front seat asking for us to pull over to have a smoke.  We chided her, reminding her of that time we thought she died, had a funeral, and almost cremated her.  She rolled her eyes, she laughed, and we eventually caved in.

You’d think this would be the worst, but only when I wake up, only when I have to remember she’s not here.  The dreams have stopped, regretfully, since I got the call, that it was done, and her remains were ready for pickup.

They now sit on a bookshelf, next to her bible, and the Joseph Prince books she’d got me for Christmas the other year, which I still haven’t gotten around to reading.  It’s heavier than I thought it’d be, but a weight I’m not so against carrying.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “On Getting The Call

  1. What a crazy world when we have to make medical decisions, end of life decisions, based on financial resources. You did what you could do to honor her. Probably the best you can do now is honor her with the way you live your life.

  2. I read this when you first posted it, and have been trying to find the words…but there are none. My heart breaks for you and your family, but is strengthened by the thought that you have someone by your side to hold your hand and say the shitty things that need to be said. I hope that you’re able to come to terms with the decisions that have to be made during life’s shittiest moments, and to lean on your nearest & dearest on the days when you can’t.

  3. Thank you for the recent follow, and my sincere condolences for your loss. Losing a loved one is hard enough without having to deal with the insanity and expense of laying them to rest. This is a crazy world: we can’t afford to live and we can’t afford to die. While you can’t replace your Grandma, it sounds like you have a wonderful person standing by you. Best wishes to you both!

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