Learning To Love You More




Assignment #51
Describe what to do with your body when you die.

Hazel Frost
Providence, Rhode Island USA



When I die, I think I'd like my body to be cremated. I don't like bugs much, and I also don't like dark or dirt or cemetaries. Quite frankly, I'm not brave enough to be buried. I have a grandmother who died a few years ago, and she actually put it in her will that she had to be buried with her cell phone.
"In case I wake up," she would say. And do you know what? She was buried with her cell phone, they actually did it. I'm pretty sure she never woke up.
In any event, I would prefer to be cremated. I haven't decided what to do with the ashes yet, though... I guess at some point I'll find a place that's important enough to leave myself for, you know, the rest of time. I'm only 16, so I guess I still have time to look around for one. I don't have any ideas yet, but my father wants to be cremated too, and he always says he wants his ashes to be scattered near the lighthouse at Point Judith because it's been his favorite place for as long as he can remember. I like Point Judith too, I think, but I don't want my ashes to be with my father's for the rest of eternity. Besides, whenever he talks about eventually being cremated, I always cry... every time, without fail, he mentions it and a switch flips somewhere and I can't stop crying. He's not dying or anything. I'm probably making it sound like he's sick. He's not, though... he's actually pretty healthy with the exception of a permanently broken little finger and a bad achilles tendon. He goes running, he has a fishing boat, and sometimes when we take vacations, he puts a diamond stud through the hole in his ear that he got when he was in college in the 60s. I think any other 50-something law professor would have let the hole close up, let it heal itself, and move on and forget all about the whole damned thing. Not my father, though, and that's why I always cry when he mentions dying and letting some paid professional incinerate his body until there's nothing left but little gray ashes.
When I die, I want to be cremated too, and we'll both be ashes and float on the ocean and then maybe we'll both be free. I don't think we'll be able to feel much, but the prospect of floating forever seems more appealing than being buried in a cramped little box, cell phone in rigor mortified hand, just waiting forever to wake up.