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.