I called the funeral home today to discuss caskets. Yeah. That sucked. As much as you think it sucked? It sucked. There are no other words for it. But I kept my composure. I spoke in the same tone I used with the Yakima dealer earlier today as I priced the differences between the different models of hitch mounted bike racks. It felt all wrong. All kinds of wrong.
Jeff and I had contemplated asking a family member—a particularly wonderful and gifted carpenter—to consider building Lydia's casket, so I called the funeral home to find out what kind of regulations might be involved in using a non-funeral home purchased casket. She said there were none and went to get the proper dimensions so that it could fit inside the vault. What in Sam-hades is a vault?--and I don't even want to know because I'm just getting steps further into the process of burying my still living baby—but I think I already know. I get the picture. . When she called me back she said there was one hiccup. The caskets they use all come with vaults. So if I want to use a separate casket, the vault we would have to use would be substantially more expensive than the casket/vault combo. Really??? How does that make sense?
"I wonder why it costs more for the same type of hard plastic if it comes without the casket?" I asked aloud--again as if I'm discussing the paint job on bike racks.
Compassionately the woman answered, "I know it seems like it doesn't make any sense, but the vaults that are sold separately are made of concrete, not plastic like the ones that come with our caskets."
Ew! Casket. I think I might throw this computer if I write that word one more time. So I'm going to try to tell the rest of this story without it. Here goes....
I got off the phone. I'm still contemplating using our own [box], but now comes the part where I begin to ponder the phone call in which I ask my loved one to build the [box]. What would it be like to receive that phone call? Oh, but a part of me would just love to go to his workshop and build it with him and laugh about the ludicrous nature of this entire situation and spend time with him and just enjoy his presence. No, I'm never going to be able to make that phone call.
I text Jeff: "I hate sand" (I'm at the beach.)
"I called the funeral home today and asked about [boxes]."
He texts back:
The phone rings. It’s Jeff. I give him the details and then tell him I can't bring myself to ask someone who loves me to build [that thing] for us. I suggest that "it might be fun for us to do it together." Laughter ensued. Yes. I used the word "Fun" in regards to building the hollow object that would hold our daughter's body. Jeff then suggested "cathartic" was maybe the word for which I had been searching. It was. We still laughed. I just adore him.
And so that is where we are at with that. I also realized that I completely forgot to ask about "plots" (another great word). I think I've about decided I don't need to know anything about those until that day comes.
So that's that. Glad that is over.