Hey Mom, I’m not actually in here. You know that, right? But I get it. I get that the living need reminders and touchstones. I don’t begrudge you your urn. It’s a cool urn, by the way. Different. I’m so grateful you didn’t stick my ashes in some cold, hard metal or dark wood, or something depressing. I like the blue sky of it and the puffy clouds and the panoramic landscape. I think I know what you were aiming for: a little piece of heaven, perhaps?
‘Generous of you to want to place me there. I know I was no angel. I know an entire community of loved ones suffered because of me. You do realize that’s part of the reason why I did it, don’t you? It wasn’t just about ending my suffering – although that loomed pretty large.
Here’s what I want you to know: I’m sorry. I miss you. I miss everyone really. Even the ones who were pains in my ass. I miss living, and I realize now that those assholes were just part of the package. I failed pretty miserably at noticing the good stuff and the generous people. Not always, but more often than not.
I was wrong, so wrong about believing this would feel better or that I’d feel nothing. I can assure you; it’s more than nothing. And it doesn’t always feel good.
For instance, I miss folks. I try to get messages through to you, to others, but I have a very poor rate of success with this. People miss the signs. They’re busy; they’re not paying attention; they’re alive and have all sorts of important and not-so-important stuff going on. I don’t blame them. It just feels lonely sometimes. And loneliness is one of those things I thought would end with the dying. That there’d be all sorts of folks to choose from to be with – famous authors and figures from history. It’s not like that. Papa Joe’s here though. Not that I’m in a rush for any of you to die, but it was nice running into a familiar spirit. We reminisce. It’s comforting.
I know you’re having a rough time of it lately. But here’s what I know about you. I believe I’ve seen you at some of your lowest points (yes, you’re welcome). And what I see time and time again is that you somehow manage to pick the blue sky and the puffy clouds and the open air and the sun shining through. I remember you stepping into that showroom at the crematorium: four walls of shelves lined with urns of all sizes, shapes, colors, materials. You made a beeline for this one, because it was the only one (and there had to be hundreds) that spoke to you of life rather than – well – the alternative. How do you do that? I wish I’d had a little more of that uncanny ability of yours.
Anyway, it’s a nice urn. I like the way I’m pulled to you when you look at it and think of me. Even if you’re remembering a bad part. At least you’re remembering. Which, after death, is the one blessed thing that continues to connect us.