Total Pageviews

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cremation

There were three of us. Me, Jenny (Bob's former nurse) and Chris. They led us through a set of oak doors with a brass sign that read "Witness Room".

The room was white and blue and there was a wall of glass and behind the glass was Bob.  In a cardboard box.  A brown cardboard box. With a blue paper sheet, blue -- the color of hospital chucks, tucked up to his chin. And I put my hands on the cool glass, palms flat and stared at this man, who was Bob, who was not Bob, who looked more like a statue someone had sculpted, an imitation of Bob, but the sculptor had some how gotten the nose all wrong.

And his neck was straight. And I'm stupidly thinking, his neck is straight -- he's finally holding up his head and how did they do that?

My hands keep slipping on the glass. A sort of slow sliding down, as if I can't control them.  Jenny asks if she should ask if I can go to him, go to Bob, on the other side of that cold glass, but I'm thinking it looks cold in there and Bob looks cold and I just can't move from this spot, here, on the other side of the glass.

On the wall there is a box, a wooden box, with buttons inside. I am told that I can push the button, the button that starts the conveyor.  And the man comes in and goes behind the glass and he raises the thing that Bob lays on and it slides up like some type of industrial scaffold. There is rust on the scaffold and I'm thinking, someone should clean that thing up, paint it or something. Then the man gets a lid for the box, the cardboard box that Bob lies in. The lid is white and box is brown and in big bold black letters, on the lid, it says HEAD.  I'm thinking how odd this is, this HEAD, so big and bold and black and are morticians that dumb? Couldn't they have written HEAD a little smaller or something, or just put some kind of code or mark on the box so they would know which end is what?  The man has trouble fitting on the lid, the lid that says HEAD, so big and bold. And then the man nods to me, which is my cue to push the button, but I cannot push the button.

Jenny says, "It's OK, you've already done enough."

I'm thinking this is such an odd game, who would want to push that button? A child, maybe? Or spiteful widow. A sort of last send off.  Here, take that, you so-and-so! And I can almost hear Bob laughing...

So I shake my head and the man pushes the button and the conveyors roll with the brown cardboard box with the white lid and I run to the side of the glass, my hands sliding over the glass, to the end of the glass wall so I can see the box disappear behind the curtain and see Bob's name on the box, written in black sharpie marker and watch as he disappears...




11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish I could take all the pain and heartache of your loss away. The days, weeks, months ahead will probably be a roller coaster of emotions. Please lean on your family and friends for support. Know you are in our thoughts and prayers. You may write or call me at anytime should you need to just talk.

Hugs & prayers,

Dan

John Lightner said...

May you be up-lifted and supported as you did so well for Bob

Thoughts and prayers in this time of grief

SSTattler said...

In your article 4+ Years Post-Stroke/Aphasia and His Brain is Waking Up, there is a simple comment but true, "Then there's that C-Crane radio, ... But he did!". There is more Bob's intelligent than most of us think... (I've got the HAM Licence after my stroke because I'm unsure at that time I can to it or not). Good-bye Bob.
John A.

SSTattler said...

In your article 4+ Years Post-Stroke/Aphasia and His Brain is Waking Up, there is a simple comment but true, "Then there's that C-Crane radio, ... But he did!". There is more Bob's intelligent than most of us think... (I've got the HAM Licence after my stroke because I'm unsure at that time I can to it or not). Good-bye Bob.
John A.

Jenn said...

:'( {Diane}

DavKan said...

Diane,
Nothing I write can even remotely come close to what I'm feeling. :*(.
Keeping you in our prayers,
Kan and David

Hasna said...

It's been a while since I visited this blog. Today I wanted to know how Bob was doing & how Diane was doing! --- Tears just kept flowing. Feeling so sorry! May God give you strength to bear this.

Lauda said...

Diane, Thank you for sharing that incredibly emotional moment with us. I felt like I was there with you and in you and the feelings are very scary and sad and heartbreaking. Strength and peace to you. Lauda

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry. I cannot imagine how tough that must have been for you. Thank you so much for sharing this time with us. It was so gut wrenching to read what you went through, and to share one of the most toughest moments of your life means so much as a follower as your blog. My heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

Please feel my arms wrapped around you in love and comfort at this awful time Diane. Soon you will have peace and be able to continue. xoxoxo Trudy from Texas

DebbieL said...

So very sad. I am so sorry, Diane. :(