PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Welcome Home

Picking up Gregory's ashes was easier than I thought it would be. Accompanied by our long, long time friend (I'd call him an old friend but that would be true both ways;-) John Hnilicka, we went to the Cremation Society of Illinois' beautiful victorian apartment building (ironically with an insurance company on the same floor) on Addison Street in the "Boy's Town" neighborhood.

After presenting my driver's license to prove who I was (I could have told them!) I received several copies of Gregory's death certificate, the memory cards we had printed, and last, but not least, Gregory's ashes. I say not least because of the heaviness in receiving them. I do not mean emotional heaviness but rather ounce and pound heavy.

I wanted a quiet moment, placed my hand on top of the handmade paper covered with dried fall leaves box, and as an acknowledgement of the reality of it all; lovingly, gently, picked up the box. Holy SHIT! He is (was) one heavy Fucker! (Cremation humor ;-)  The box really was quite heavy. It felt between 5 and 10 pounds.

Brook had explained earlier that "Ashes" is not really what they are but rather more like a fine sand. (I have not yet looked at them.) In the olden days there was the carbon and left over bone fragments, not necessarily completely cremated. (Hope I'm not grossing you out.) Now days, the cremation process is so sophisticated (including "Green" machines) that the nature of the "Ashes" is different than it was in the past.

To celebrate, after picking up Gregory, John and I went out to an excellent dinner and attended a Broadway musical, the tickets of which we had bought more than a month ago, called: "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder." The show was magical, brilliant, and a romp! Gregory stayed behind safely in the trunk.

When I arrived back at the condo around 11:00 PM, I opened the trunk saying, "Hello Honey," and put Gregory, resting safely comfortably in Grandma Carrie's sewing box, in my arms and carried him over the threshold into our home saying, "Welcome home my love."

I placed the box on his side of the bed as I got ready to go to sleep. The cats, Emma and Gigi, visited with him a while, lost interest, and went on to have some more "Paw Likin' Chicken." Isaac, God Son, came in and gave his "Welcome Home" to Gregory.

I placed the box back on the bedroom bookshelf where it had been kept during Gregory's tenure in the condo, back in place again, and wished Gregory another "Welcome home ... and goodnight."

I didn't know how I was going to handle all this but as I said, it was easier than I thought. Instead of the frightening, sad, morbid, disgusting, macabre; I was happy to have him home with me, all his troubles behind him, me ready to grieve and move on.

Having Gregory's ashes helped complete the process and experience of his death and I am feeling a sense of closure to this chapter and am eagerly looking forward to the next.

Sound Bite: I know that there is a cloud still following me and every now and then, when least expected, it will make my eyes rain. But that is OK and Gregory will be my umbrella.

I slept very peacefully.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, thanks for sharing. I often worry about, or think about, what it will be like when mom dies, and whether I will be there are not. Of course everything is unknown, and so there's no point in worrying the rational part of me says, but we are such irrational creatures.

    I'm glad it was easier than you thought.


Comments are always welcome. You are appreciated! If you do not have a sign-in on any of the accounts below ... use ANONYMOUS. All comments are moderated and will appear as appropriate. Thanks. Please, keep commenting!