My Mother Lives for Death
Standing next to the casket of a dear friend, my mother whispered, “Now may not be the right time, but don’t you like the white lining in the casket?”
My eyes widened.
She was right. It was not the right time.
Mother continued, “I like the white lining with the white temple clothes. Please remember that for my funeral. But, make sure you get a wood casket.”
“Do you want to go shopping at Larkin this week? You can pick your own,” I suggested.
Mother gave my shoulder a love tap and said, “No. By the time I die, they won’t have the same caskets in stock, silly! That’s why I didn’t pre-pay for a funeral. I’m just leaving enough money to cover expenses.”
“But, don’t you want to check them out? See how they feel?”
“Oh, Julie. Stop.”
“You started it.”
A few minutes later, when the service started, mother leaned into me, “Make note of this song. I want this to be the opening hymn at my funeral.”
I bent down, pulled my phone out of my purse and typed a note:
White lining in a wood casket
“The Lord is my Shepherd,” page 108 for the opening hymn
“They may change the hymn books before I die. You’ll have to check the page number.”
Sitting next to my mom, I smiled.
While Dwight often quoted Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” we also giggled about what to do with our remains. Dwight suggested, “Put my ashes in lines and snort them.”
Like Rose, in Aspects of Love, “Oh God, I miss him so.” All day, every day, things happen that I want to share with Dwight.
For twenty years, Dwight told me, “You need to get along with your mom. Give her a call.”
Well, Dwight, mom and I talk every day now. She is even planning her funeral with me.