My mother is in an urn at the funeral home, still there three months after her sudden death from a pulmonary embolism. My father, who’s on oxygen, lives in Florida and was the family’s presumptive guess for which parent would die first, left it to me to schedule a short graveside service—once the ground had thawed—so that my mother’s remains could be interred here in Connecticut. I’d thought of doing it Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, for obvious reasons. But as the day has drawn closer, I’ve created all kinds of mental roadblocks: Will a priest be available on such notice? Will my middle sister, who’s my closest living relative, be available? What if it rains? Isn’t the day before Mother’s Day the same day as the Kentucky Derby? Won’t it feel strange to go to an interment in the morning and to OTB in the afternoon?
(I visit OTB three times a year, tops, and only to place bets on the Triple Crown races. Please believe me.)
At any rate, you can see where this is going. I have no overriding desire to say goodbye to my mother for a second time. I know I’ll need to one of these days, if only because the funeral home will probably demand it. On one hand, I think we should just honor her wish (usually said in jest) and drop her ashes in the sea. On the other hand, that option now reminds me of Osama bin Laden and how he ended up. And frankly, I don’t like grouping those two people in the same mental storeroom.
One of these days I’ll resign myself to the fact that there’s no perfect time (or place) to bury my mother. For this Mother’s Day, I’ll try to forget where she is physically, focusing instead on where she’ll be for the rest of my life—living on in fond memories.
(Photo – Dateline Zero)