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Those few hours after death

Updated on July 29, 2013

Death Fire

I would burn him,
it was our tradition.

"Any metal in the body?"
I checked, "Yes."

"Any mechanical devices?"
I understood and checked,
"Yes."

This is what it had come to,
the checking off of boxes.

"Will you require an urn?"
I checked, "No."

He'd come back to me
in a plastic bag
with a tag and
packed in a FedEx box.

It was OK.
I wasn't keeping them, the ashes.
That seemed creepy
to me
And he wouldn't have
wanted it.

I was dreaming of a
funeral pyre, with
emotional people, wails
of silence and
streams of tears
And wind to blow the ashes
to the four corners of this
world.

I smiled weakly at the
polite man with the forms
in the living room.
They would take care of it all.

I thanked the two men
who'd know my father
in another life time and place,
as they carried him away.

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    • mbwalz profile image
      Author

      MaryBeth Walz 4 years ago from Maine

      Thank you Peter!

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear mbwalz,

      Thank you for your poem.

      Those first few hours we tend to deal with in an almost numbed state and this scenario affects us many times throughout our lives, whether it be family, friend or much loved pet.

      Voted up and beautiful

      Kind regards Peter

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      This is such a difficult thing to take care of. Having to make decisions when we are grieving is the worst.

      My parents had it all set up and paid for. Kept us from having to worry about what to do. All I had to do was give them a fax number to fax me papers to sign and then send back notarized. I went to the local bank and they took care of it all for me.

      This was a beautiful poem.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 6 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Yes, that seems to be a difficult place, and something personal yet takes you into the pit of grief.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      Yes, and it's hard to put into words, but you did it here brilliantly mbwalz. Good work. snakeslane

    • mbwalz profile image
      Author

      MaryBeth Walz 6 years ago from Maine

      Thank you snakeslane! He's been gone for a couple of years so it makes it easier to process this way. The simple details are what amaze me. :)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      It is really hard to process this entire situation, you caught the cold nuances, and contrasted it so dramatically with the fire of love burning in your heart. This obviously was not easy for you mbwalz, I wish you comfort in the memories you have of your dad. Thanks for sharing this. Regards, snakeslane