I don’t know what to do with my mother’s ashes.
She’s not dead yet.
In fact she’s in damn good shape overall.
No real medical concerns, just some dental work that needs attending to, a few aches and pains which is to be expected at 65.
For the past ten years or so my mother has been trying to talk to me about her death.
It’s really kinda morbid (God love her, and I do but she can be so negative and wallow in the doom and gloom realm far too often) and usually I’ll do anything to avoid these conversations because it depresses me.
But my mother, being the anxious fretting “have to have something to worry about” kind of person she is has, for at least a decade, fixated on her funeral and general death plans.
I don’t know how many times we’ve had the conversation about the funeral arrangements or how many funeral insurance plans she’s been on and then changed her mind and gone with someone else….
She’s always talking about “clearing out her place”…you know, “in case something ever happens to me.”
I just go along with it, mumble what I think she wants to hear and then steer the conversation to a happier place.
She’s never satisfied though and recently she phoned me again and lo and behold before long we’re back onto the death subject.
This time it was about what to do with her ashes.
“I was reading about how you can get your ashes sewn up into a teddy bear, or even made into a statue…What do you think?”
“Oh I don’t know mum, I’m not that big on stuffed toys or garden gnomes…”
“But Tracy, we HAVE to talk about this! It’s important. I don’t want to leave you having to worry about all these details after I’m dead.”
“Ok, well you know no offense mum but I don’t really want you hanging about the house when you’re dead. I’m not keen on keeping urns or whatever with dead peoples bits in them.”
“Can’t I just scatter you somewhere?”
“Well…..what about in a forest? I think I’d like to be scattered in a forest somewhere…?”
“Ohhh nooo…No, I don’t like the idea of being in a forest.”
“Ok, well what about the beach? You live near Bondi beach?”
“Oh, no…I don’t like the water. Don’t scatter me in the water.” (My mother also has a long list of fears.)
“Ok…well, since I make candles why don’t I grind you up and put you in a candle. I’ve heard about candle cremains. Then I can light you on special occasions.”
“Well….? Oh no….you know how I am about fire.”
(Rolling eyes furiously and making faces into the phone.)
“Well I don’t know mum. When you decide what you want me to do with your ashes let me know, ok?”
“Yes, . I think I’ll come up for a visit soon and we can talk about it then, ok…we NEED to talk about this and get it out the way.”