Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Good is a Casket Anyway?

A couple of days ago, I was in the car with Dolly and Buddy.  We drove past a cemetery on the edge of town and Dolly noticed that a graveside service was going on.  Buddy said it looked like the people were sitting around a hole in the ground.  I said, "Well, that's where they will put the casket after the service is over."  And, then I commented that it was a beautiful afternoon for a funeral service, because in my opinion, a breezy, coolish day, with scattered clouds seems like a nice day for that.  (At no point have I ever claimed to have a normal thought process). 

This would be a beautiful day for a funeral.

Buddy said, "What's a casket?"  Apparently, he knew what a coffin was, but not a casket.  I realize that in a four-year-old's mind, they are basically the same thing.  Once that was straightened out, I decided it was the proper time to inform my eight- and four-year-old kids that I would like to be cremated rather than buried.  

Not. Like. This.

The following discussion ensued:

Dolly: What's cremation?

Me: Well, that's when they would take my body - you understand that after I die, my soul, that's the part of me that really makes me who I am, the part of me that no one can see, but it is the part that loves you and loves Jesus and makes me be everything that I am, anyway, my soul will leave my body and will go to Heaven where I will get a new, perfect body - so, anyway, they would take my body and put it in a very, very hot oven.  It would burn my body into teeny ashes, like a campfire.  Then, they would scoop the ashes out, put them in a box and give them to whoever is left in my family.  Like Daddy, or maybe you guys.

Dolly: Okay. Why do you want to do that? It doesn't hurt you?

Me: No, it can't hurt me, honey, because I'm dead and my body is completely worthless without my soul.  I want to be cremated because it doesn't cost as much money as a regular burial.  When you have a regular burial, you have to buy a big, beautiful casket made of pretty, shiny wood and metal and full of soft, silky, fluffy sheets.  I'm gone.  My soul has taken off to heaven.  I don't think my worthless, dead body needs all that stuff.  It isn't like I can enjoy it.  I would rather spend less money - since all my money will go to you guys - and be put in a little box.

Dolly: What do we do with the box? 

Me: There are spots you can put it in like a memorial wall at a lot of cemeteries.  That's what I would like.  Sometimes people toss the ashes out at special places, but I feel weird about that.  It's kind of gross to me.  What if little pieces of bodies are blowing around everywhere?  I don't want to add to that.  Just put me in a wall and put my name up there.  Then, sometimes you could come say hi, like when you miss me.  But, I probably won't know you came.  It might make you feel better though.

Dolly: You're right.  Why does someone need a fancy casket with fluffy stuff for their useless body?  That's dumb.

Apparently, they could put me in a rock.
I didn't really think about Buddy not contributing to the conversation, but he had just had a very long day and was tired.  He was sucking his thumb and looking out the window.  When we pulled in the garage, Dolly and I were discussing the perfect bodies we would have in heaven.  I turned around and looked at Buddy.  He looked at me, removed his thumb and said, "Mommy don't die!"  The tears began to stream down his face.  I ran to his side of the car and hugged him. 

I said, "I'm not going to die anytime soon. Look how old Grandma and Grandpa are.  You'll have me around for a good long time."  This seemed to appease him as I smacked my face.  Some conversations not meant for some ears.  While okay for the eight-year-old, poor Buddy was just not ready.

Duh, Mom.

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