It was 6:30pm and I was in my last class of the day. We were given a 15 minute break so I checked my voicemail. I listened to the message from my step-mother. I could tell by the tone of her voice that something was wrong.
“Hi Ashley, I wanted to let you know that I went by the funeral home today and paid off the rest of the funeral. I also had to pick up his ashes. I need to talk to you about that. I’m not sure what you want to do. I need to go back to the funeral home tomorrow and pick out some urns. They have a few choices, and I don’t know if you and your sister want to pick out your own. Call me back when you can or I’ll email you tomorrow. It’s just really overwhelming and I wanted to talk to you about it. Hopefully we can talk later. Bye.”
Well, that’s a message if I ever heard one.
So now I get to pick out an urn for my father’s ashes. Fantastic.
Why was this not done 8 months ago when we were taking care of the funeral arrangements? Why are we still dealing with this now? And why would you leave someone a voicemail talking about their father’s ashes and an urn?
I kept myself from crying when I hung up the phone, but it was almost impossible to concentrate once class started again.
I didn’t call my step-mother back last night. I’ll email her this afternoon. I don’t know what I’m going to say to her.
I’m really frustrated by this whole situation. My dad made it clear that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes spread in the Gulf of Mexico. So why are we talking about buying several urns to separate the ashes and keep them for ourselves? That seems incredibly selfish to me. As much as I (kind of) want to keep part of him for myself (does that seem really creepy to anyone else??), that’s not what he wanted. I want to honor my father’s wishes. I want to do what he wanted.
How do you choose? Who decides? Are his last wishes more important that your own, or in this case, your family’s?