Ashes! Ashes! We All Fall Down

We picked up our son’s ashes on Friday.  It was perhaps the most bizarre experience out of all the ones I’ve had so far.  The woman working at the funeral home handed us what to me could only be described as a nice cloth gift bag of sorts, like one of those reusable bags people take to the grocery store, or get at some of the Hamptons summer fundraisers.  Only this one had a cremains filled shoebox sized cardboard box sitting neatly inside.  Why was the box so big? I was expecting it to be ring box sized.  What do you say when someone hands you a swag-bag filled with ashes?  I think “Thank you” crossed my lips.  I can’t be one hundred percent sure.  What kind of person wakes up one morning and decides “Yup I was meant to work at a funeral home.”?  Obviously a very empathetic and professional person, but geezus that would get depressing after a day. Workers were setting up for a funeral or a wake outside the office door where we filled out paper work.  Everyone dies. Somehow everything involves paperwork.

Once I was alone at home curiosity got the better of me and I of course opened the shoebox sized package we had been given.  Inside that box is another sealed black box.  Ridiculous thoughts flew through my mind.  I was holding a black box.  Like the “black box” from plane crashes.  Disasters. Unsolved catastrophic events.  Makes sense.  Jinx from Meet the Parents peeing on spilled remains.  Frantically vacuuming up what I spilled when I finally opened the box.  Were they loose in there? Is there a trick to the box? Was I cracking up? Finally losing it?  I finally decided my best bet was to leave it be.

That night as I flipped through my phone I stumbled upon some notes that documented the past nine months.  I don’t know where I am in the whole process of things.  So much has happened so quickly it’s almost hard to keep up.  Mostly because so much has happened but on another level nothing has really changed at all.

 

7/3/16

“I don’t know what to say.  We were so thrilled to hear you existed.  It wasn’t for long but you did so much.”

 

7/27/16

“Especially this year I am tired of people excusing behavior with stating they’ve had a bad day, or a bad week, month or what have you.  Perhaps it’s not a bad “whatever”- most likely you yourself are the issue and your excuse is a sad grasp for forgiveness.  There are things in life we cannot control and then as sentient beings we are left with control over how we respond to those instances.  To put it plainly- we all have our shit- get over yourself.”

 

9/25/16

“2016 will always be a memorable year.  We decided we wanted to expand our family and in June had joyfully, albeit prematurely, announced our February due date.  By July we no longer had that date in our sights.  We officially solidified our commitment to each other and to Skylar with our wedding in September.  Now we would all like to announce that we are expecting at the end of May 2017.”

 

1/2/17

“I haven’t written in the longest time.  But with Christmas flying by and the end of 2016 I feel like I should jot down at least a few closing notes.

2016 will historically go down in American history as a year of turmoil for many.  For myself it can be summarized succinctly as bittersweet.

I have been emotionally assaulted and bullied to the point of having visceral reactions to any sort of communication between myself and a select few that unfortunately I cannot avoid.

I was fortunate enough to marry the love of my life on a beautiful September day at the Montauk Lighthouse.  We were surrounded by immediate family and closest friends.  I couldn’t have imagined a better experience and wouldn’t have changed a thing.

I have lost two babies that I had wanted with all my heart.  The first was 4th of July weekend, and I had to have a D&C they day before my daughter’s birthday.  The second was during a family trip to Salem in October, before I had a chance to even share the news with family and friends.  Now I’m pregnant with the third but only time will tell.  I’m too nervous to allow myself to get excited.

I’ve decided I don’t have time or patience for people who are needless attention seekers, or people who only want to bring me down to lift themselves up.”

 

2/5/17

“I am perplexed by the continuous blatant insensitivity of some.  Part of me would rather believe they are just incredibly stupid rather than malicious, but logistically nobody is that stupid.

You knew when I lost my first.  Every unavoidable time we are face to face you bring up your own pregnancy. How much it pains you to be pregnant, how awful it is.  How I should “try being sick while pregnant!”.  Thank God you don’t know about the second.  And you will for sure be the last to know about this one.”

 

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