Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ashes to Ashes...

Today, on this bright, sunny Saturday of the Easter Octave, one day before Mercy Sunday, I accompanied my Mom to the funeral parlour because she wanted to finalize plans for her cremation. Happily, Mom is in good health and doesn't appear to be in need of cremating anytime soon - she just wanted to make sure all the plans were already in place so that I wouldn't have to worry about things "when her time comes". While I sincerely appreciate Mom being so organized, I was dreading making this trip with her.

Both my Father and my Mother opted for immediate cremation, for reasons of economy and simplicity. When my Father died, we were given permission to have a private funeral Mass at home. The urn containing my Dad's cremated remains was present. A dear Priest-friend who had heard my Father's final confession, given him Holy Communion and anointed him, also said the funeral Mass. The only people present, besides the Priest and my Father, were my Mom, my Nana, three close family friends, and me. Although Dad knew a lot of people, he had specifically requested a small funeral, and it was special in its own way.

Later the urn was placed in a niche in a mausoleum. The cemetery is not specifically Catholic, and it occurred to me today that the niche was never blessed. When my Priest-friend visits this summer, we're going to ask him to bless the niche which contains: my Father's urn, a rosary, a memorial nameplate, a photograph of Dad, his watch, and a little teddy-bear which I gave him when he was in the Hospital.

When Mom passes, she wants her urn to be placed with my Father's, in the same niche.

I suppose it's just as well that the task of making these arrangements took place during the Easter Octave. Rather than get depressed over the contemplation of one day being separated from another parent by death, I'm focusing instead on the Resurrection! :)

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