On Saturday I met with the funeral home director to make arrangements to have my dad cremated. It had been less than 24 hours since my dad died and I think I was supposed to be hysterical, but I had cried the entire night before and I just didn't have any tears left. I was ready to answer questions, fill out paperwork and check another awful, heartbreaking task off my list.
I have always been interested in the "behind the scenes" part of things. Whenever I go anywhere, I always wonder whose job it is to choose what hangs on the walls and where things go. I'm always curious about staffing, schedules and management. And so when the funeral guy said, "do you have any questions?" I couldn't resist. I asked several questions about the cremation process, about the urns that were displayed around the room, the morgue, and so on. I'm not sure if he thought I was heartless, or if friendly/smiling/ lack- of-emotion-while-discussing-one's-recently-dead-father is normal.
My dad didn't want to be set on a shelf, so I wasn't shopping for an urn, but I was very intrigued by them. As I was browsing, I noticed "memorial necklaces" and asked about them. They take some of the ashes from your loved one and infuse it with the glass to make a pendant. I think my dad would have told me wearing him around my neck was creepy (and I agree), but when the funeral guy asked if I was interested, my response wasn't a normal, "no thank you". What flew out of my unfiltered mouth was, "I'd like to have that done when my dogs go, but I don't think it would be right with my dad."
That was the point that my boyfriend gently put his hand on my arm and guided me out, wincing with apologetic embarrassment as we left.
For the record, I would consider that for them and no one (including my dad) would be surprised by my dead dog ash necklace.