Picking up my wife's ashes from the funeral home was not on my life "to do" list, at least not for a long time. Yet there I was. Arm-in-arm with her mom, we stepped heavily into the lobby and were escorted to the library. After a few moments Neil, the funeral director assigned to us, walked in with a linen box and papers to sign. Amy's mom and I hugged and cried. We signed the papers, took the box and cried some more. Yet a peculiar peace entered me. An unfamiliar calmness.
I brought Amy home and put her on my dresser. Where she finally rests, we will someday determine, but for now, it will do. The place at least provides a focal point for me to direct my conversations with her.
It's strange the comfort of hugging a box of ashes. I was not expecting that. Yet when I explained to my two boys that we had brought mommy's ashes home, they immediately asked to see them, and when they did, the oldest wanted to hug the box too. We three boys hugged Amy and hugged each other and cried. Cried many, many tears.