My husband brought home China’s ashes last Friday. He handed me a paper bag, like a gift bag. “What is this?” I asked him. “China’s ashes,” he replied – but he let my dogs out when he came in and I had to go out and get them (they don’t go out alone.)
I carried the bag down the stairs, and was suddenly overcome with a desire to laugh. “What is wrong with me?” I asked myself as I stood outside of my son’s living room door holding a bag, containing a box, holding what was left of my son’s best friend – and trying to suppress a smile.
Finally under control, I walked through the door and handed him the bag. He took out the box, and I took out the envelope, and read the “Certificate of Private Cremation.” “I never got this with Gryff,” I said – even though he had been privately cremated, too.
As I looked at the box, it suddenly became real that she was gone… in a box, a tiny box, and as with Gryff it didn’t make sense that one who filled so much of our lives could just be gone; all we are left with is a tiny box.
It didn’t make sense, but it did make it real – and that inappropriate urge to laugh was drowned in a downpour of pain. And the pain was overwhelming, but it would not come out – so I searched for a sad movie to watch, and I watched sad music videos on YouTube, and I cried: for I loved China for so long. I loved her so much, and I never wanted her to go – and that first week where I cried some, but laughed too much, has not made sense. China is gone – and it should hurt.
For the entire weekend between that moment and now, I have been in pain. It is right that it hurts. It all hurt this weekend – the loss of China, and Gryff, and my grandma, and my grandpa, and my cousin, and… the list grows, and the pain builds, and it should be that way. It should be. For this pain is the cost of loving them so very much – and I would pay it again to love like that again (but please, don’t let it be soon.)