It’s been sitting in the same place for months. The beautiful ceramic container. I dust it. I put my hands on it. Sometimes I say a few words. I like to place flowers next to it, offerings of chocolate. A bear-claw pastry and tulips for his birthday.
My best friend flew out from California, to stay with me after my husband died. She and I wandered the little galleries and shops until I found the “container” that would become his urn. When I saw it, my heart welled up. I could barely speak. The earthen tones, the round soft shape, and the lid, it had a fish on it. For my nature-loving Pisces.
The container was heavy even before it contained his remains. But when I held it for the first time at the funeral home, I was shaking. The weight of it. Both physical and emotional, I wasn’t sure I could carry it forward, let alone out of the funeral home.
There are times when the burden of loss feels so heavy…
When we picked up the urn from the funeral home that day, we were in my car, so I figured I would drive us home. But we got all nervous about how to transport it, where to place it in the car. The delicate topic of delicate remains. We decided the urn would need to be carried by the passenger, thus it would need to go in my best friend’s lap.
…and then there are times when I can see the light.
As much as my Pisces would enjoy it, I said, there is no way he is riding home in the lap of my best friend. He’ll be riding home in mine. And we all laughed at how it was decided that on this particular trip, I would be the passenger.
I’ve been swinging between the shadows and the light again. The hopefulness of better days, smattered with reminders of the worst. I am unsettled. Things are shifting, inside and out. I’m moving stuff around. Taking pictures off the walls. Clearing my mind, clearing my space.
I might move his urn today. Every time I pick it up, the weight of it surprises me. But I love that it is heavy. It grounds me. It helps me to feel that he will not just fly away, particles sent into the air with the swish of a swiffer. That he was once here, bones, beauty and all. That he is still here. Sitting solidly in my heart, moving around on occasion, perhaps even from room to room, to shift as I shift, as we continue to re-arrange and move forward together.