Ashes To Ashes

The grandmother of D. died at the beginning of the corona crisis. It’s best for her. She was 86 years old and very sociable. The lockdown would have been fatal for her if she had been still alive.

The ceremony was intimate and short. They scattered her ashes in the small corner of the cemetery and I thought: there you go. One moment you are alive and laughing and the next day you’re gone. They will mix your remains with others in the secluded little corner of the graveyard that looks suspiciously like a place where dogs are allowed to deposit their excrement and that’s it. That’s your whole life is amounted to, a handful of dust on the scraggy patches of grass littered with dried up flowers from previous occupants. Sad I thought.

I know After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box. And dead is dead but still…

I watched her husband suffered the same fate four years ago. That was the first time I was really confronted with my own mortality. My parents were both dead but that is different. I had a connection with these people. I have lived with them longer than I know my own family. She was kinder to me than my own mother had ever been. I genuinely liked her.

D. and I made a pact that if one of us died, our ashes will be planted together with a sapling of our choice (Tebitan Cherry or Prunus serrula for me, Magnolia for him) so we can grow and be a part of nature instead of disappearing into nothingness like a dried up turd.

Be memorable. Say something unforgettable.

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