When my mom died, six weeks ago, I made the arrangements for her cremation. When Dad died we went to a Jewish funeral home that she knew of, mainly because she knew of them, since we didn't want a real Jewish funeral.
Cremation, which is what Dad wanted, is against Jewish funeral law. Mom never told me what she wanted but I knew she'd want that too.
In fact, as I've been going through the house, I was unnerved to find papers from Mom's mother that included her prepaid cremation, with the instructions for her ashes: "Scatter them to the four winds. I don't care." It makes how Mom was about this make more sense.
I'd hated the Jewish funeral home. They'd quoted me a price on the phone, then when we came in the next day, the guy tried to charge us a whole lot more. They were slimy. My brother didn't know what to do about any of this, man of the world that he pretends to be.
So I called the funeral home in Greenwich Village where we'd had Nanay's funeral. They were good there then, and they were good now. Mom had died on Friday night, it was Saturday and they were busy, but I needed to go HOME, and they let me come in. The funeral director was a lovely young woman, she made it easy.
Two weeks later I came back to New York, and I got Mom's ashes and brought them up to the apartment.
They are going to Cape Cod in June, but for now they went where Mom had put Dad's ashes after he died. I hadn't know where she'd put them until I mentioned it to the Man and he said, "Oh, I asked her. She told me."
I am going up to New York every 2 weeks. Bit by bit I am cleaning out the apartment. My brother has only been there once, just this weekend. And when he and his wife came, I showed them where the ashes are resting for now.
They are in the big hall closet just near the front door of the apartment. At Christmas, I put the metal stocking hangers the girls use at Christmas in front of the the boxes.
One says "Peace", the other "Joy". I find them peculiarly appropriate.
And each time I come into the apartment, I say, "Hi, Mommy. Hi, Daddy. I'm home......"