Mama? Alea's voice came from the back seat of the car.
Tell me again about Daddy's dashes. [Meaning ashes]
Okay. What part do you want to talk about?
Mom! I mean all of it!
Okay. You want to go over the whole thing again?
Okay. Do you remember the service and the day we saw Daddy's old body lying in the big box. It looked like he was sleeping, but we could tell he really wasn't there. Remember?
I remember! Roya pipes up. And I was scared, but just a little.
That's right. But Alea, you were only two. You were very little so it was harder for you to understand and hard to remember... You thought he was sleeping and wouldn't wake up and it was very scary for you. Do you remember?
(Little squabble breaks out between the two...)
Okay, when Daddy died, he got a new body. Right? A heavenly body!! in heaven with Jesus. But what happens to the old body? We had the services to say goodbye to his old body, but then we had to choose between two things: do we bury the old body in the ground, called a grave, or... and remember, Daddy's not in his old body anymore... the old body is put inside a box and put through a big fire and is burned until all that is left of it is these grey dusty ashes. So that's what we're doing. We didn't bury Daddy's old body in the ground, we had it cremated, and now we are going to pick up the box that has Daddy's ashes inside...
I want to see the ashes!! says Roya, ever curious. I want to know what they look like!
They're like... grey sand, maybe? Ummm, like the soot in a fireplace after we roast marshmallows? (Ugh! How do I adequately describe ashes to my inquisitive 5 year old!!??)
So, Daddy is in his new body in heaven, right now. Right?? Right. And we had to say goodbye to the old body because it died. Right? Right. Okay, so now we're going to pick up the box of Daddy's ashes so we can take it with us when we go to our new house. Okay?
A few minutes of silence linger...
I want to talk more about Daddy's dashes.
Okay, honey. What part? All of it.
All of it again? Yes.
(and repeat, repeat, repeat...)
Several minutes later, as we were exiting the funeral home with Lynn's "cremated remains", the girls were each excited about trying to carry the surprisingly heavy cardboard box. Alea exclaims, Wow! Daddy has BIG dashes!!
I love my children. They are amazing. :)
(I was incredibly anxious to have to say out loud, I am here to pick up my husband's cremated remains..., and rehearsed it over and over in my mind before we arrived...)