Box, paper, zingers

I headed out to the funeral home today unsure of what to expect. When I emerged from my thoughts I realized that I didn’t recognize where I was. I backtracked a few turns and made it to my destination. My internal sense of direction is gone. I used to just know which way to go. I could feel it, now I’m so full of other thoughts and emotions that it’s been crowded out or lost. B., my loyal friend, guardian, and the other half of my brain met me at the door. We were ushered into a conference room where I told the director that all I wanted was cremation, no viewing, and that we would do our own memorial service at a later date with family. He very kindly went through a ream of papers, all which needed signatures and initials. It seems very bureaucratic, as if you can’t possibly dead unless if it properly documented, and notarized. B. asked about traveling with cremains and we were told that I would be given a special certificate to allow me to take them on the plane. The funeral director went out to put some information in the computer. When he left the room I told B. that dear hubby could travel in the cargo hold and take his chances with the baggage handlers (rimshot please). It’s both funny and upsetting at the same time. I’m just so angry. After all was tallied up the cost was going to be $3500 payable immediately (there was a $295 fee just for refrigeration). I was ready to pass over my credit card just to be done and get out of there. Thankfully B. started asking questions about if there wasn’t a more affordable way to do this. We were referred to a local crematory a few miles away.

When we arrived at the crematory we were greeted warmly, and escorted into a much smaller conference room. There was some paperwork to do, but much less this time. The room was full of urns, and memorial items on shelves, all with little price tags on them. When B. and I looked around we saw everything from modest unassuming vessels up to an ornate $2000 urn. In the back corner on a low shelf there was even a cardboard box displayed. We got a good laugh out of that. The cost for the same services as we would have gotten and the funeral home was right around $800.  Apparently, according to the coordinator, you need to comparison shop for post mortem services in the same way you would for a microwave or a car.  If we could just get Amazon to get into the funeral and crematory business this would be much easier.

After this I did something for myself. I went and got my haircut for the first time in probably six months and I got my hair professionally colored for the first time ever. It feels good to do something just for me and not worry about K. It also feels somehow disloyal and loathsome to feel good. I’m supposed to be mourning and my predominant feelings are anger and relief at the moment.

One thought on “Box, paper, zingers

  1. Jill – sounds like we have a lot in common? I am all the things you listed including a nurse. My world was knocked off the rails on Feb. 13, 1990 when I became a 29-yr. old widow with a 2-yr old son. You can read about my story and hopefully get some insight/affirmation on my blog http://www.greetgrief.com I haven’t written anything recently, but the early years of my loss may be helpful to you. I also share things on my FB page Greet Grief and my Twitter account @greet_grief

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