My father said “it doesn’t matter where your body goes when you die.” I think my mother and I were talking about not putting the rat in the trash can. Yes, that was it. I got the rat trap out of the garage at Grandma’s house. At first, I said there was no rat in the trap, but upon further investigation I noticed there was, indeed, a dead rat in the trap. Grandma wanted to come out to look at it but I told her I would bring it around to the sliding glass door. She said I could just toss it in the trash. Mom said, “no, it will stink.” I said, “no, I’ll toss it in the bushes and it can decompose there.” To me, it seems like desecration of the dead to put a dead thing in the trash. I don’t even want to put dead bugs in the trash…I’d rather put them outside.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter where your body goes when you die since your soul moves on. But, to the living it does matter. To the living it matters that the dead are treated with respect. To the living it matters that the bodies are handled with respect. Death is for the dying. Dealing with death is for the living.
Recently, when I look in the mirror I see my mother and wonder what she is doing there. This past weekend when I looked at my mother’s eyes I saw her mother’s eyes and I was sad that I didn’t spend more time with her while she was here.
My mother and I were sitting outside in the last bit of sun of the evening. I looked across the street and saw the neighbor fiddling with his gutters. I thought he may have had a hat upon his head but it turns out it was his grey hair. It seems like not that long ago it was brown like my father’s was and I was younger like his daughter was. Now, we are all older and getting closer to the time when it doesn’t matter where you go when you die.