Monday, November 28, 2011


Over the past few days, I've been alternating between hysterical crying and being totally focused on taking care of details. When I've been able to switch into detail-mode, the crying has stopped, but so has the filter that usually prevents me from just blurting out every last thought. To be totally honest, the filter I am speaking of is not the most highly functioning part of me regularly- I have a tendency to be pretty honest about things and I have never had a poker face, so you pretty much always know what I'm feeling. 

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. 


  1. It is a creepy thing to have a family member's ashes dangling from a pendant, but somehow it seems ok to have your doggies ashes there. Heck they practically sleep on top of us in life why not have them hang around our necks after death!? Seems that is where they would want to be.

    Hang in there!

  2. Oh, Natalie!!! Olivia and Griff around your neck!?! Your dad and I would be on the same page for that one :)

    The last few posts have made me both laugh and cry. Your dad was really great, and us campies will miss him. xoxo