I have something that I have told very few people. When Scott died, a year and a half ago, I did not have a plan for a burial. I know that sounds irresponsible and perhaps an extreme case of denial on my part, but it really wasn’t. He being Jewish and I being Catholic, we had always had to think through and negotiate every ritual in our lives. Like when we got married. I just assumed we would have the ceremony in the home Parish I grew up in, in Massachusetts. I had had all of my Sacraments there, so I assumed my life would follow along the same course. How Naive of me. When I called my Church rectory and told them I was marring a Jewish man, the response was: “Not here, you’re not.” “Good luck with that relationship!”. I think my mother had to take the phone out of my hands, I stood there, in shock. This was 1990. I later found out, I had a very willing groom who do anything to make me happy, but between his Rabbi refusing to even meet me and my church’s cold slap in the face, it is a miracle we got married, at all. You would think we were committing a crime, or something.
Well, we did get married, on June 24th, 1990. I ended up getting a dispensation from the Bishop, because my future mother in law did not feel comfortable going into a church. It was the priest at my families new parish in Amherst, New Hampshire that put it to me in a way I could find peace. “You don’t want to remember your wedding day as a time where one side of the church is unhappy and crying and the other happy and smiling. Marriage is about compromise.”
What great advice that set our boat out on this journey through our relationship. It worked and it worked well.I am grateful for the guidance that brought me peace in my life, and reminded me that life is about love.That’s all. Just love.
So, my truth. Scott and I could never get to the part about where his ashes would stay. We didn’t argue about it or avoid it. It”s just that we knew he wasn’t there anymore. He was just pure love. I saw it for myself, while he lay dying in a hospice in early July. We just return to that source of love. I know what peace is, after witnessing that transcendence.Our lives are a huge gift, not to be wasted by pettiness and doctrine.
Being the big teaser he was, Scott would joke to me and say he wanted to be cremated and put in an urn on my bureau, so he could keep an eye on me… that still makes me laugh, every time I think of it! I would respond by telling him not to worry, I was going to find a beautiful, Laura Ashley type of ceramic vase to keep him in. We would laugh and then look at each other with a moment that spanned into eternity. It still does. It never leaves. I don’t know how or why it does what it does, this connection. Some say it’s a guardian angel, some say it’s that pure love. I do know it is my counsel and comfort and my connection to God and all things good. That’s why I haven’t been able to make a decision about a burial place, yet. It seems irrelevant.I know he is not there. He is in my heart, quite connected. Always. I think the springtime will give me a clearer idea of what that place will look like. Until then, it is too cold for angels to fly.