REFLECTIONS: my Dad's cremation

Thank you to all that have expressed their condolences, and for giving me space to mourn. It's appreciated so very much.

I've spent the week helping my mom sort the downstairs. Well, I offer help. She lets me do small things but she wants to tackle the most. I give her space.
We tackle the upstairs next... my dad's office (aka gadget collection) will take a week itself.

Today was Dad's cremation.

I've attended a few of these. Some of my departed friends didn't have family. They were thrown out of their families because they were gay, or abused, or had a parent with a substance abuse problem. The family didn't care about their death. No funeral. The city would cremate them. I'd ask the crematorium if I could attend.

There I was,  teenage Punkchick clad in my leather jacket and with my 'hawk respectfully combed back, singing "Nearer my God to thee" or "Amazing Grace". It was how I found closure.

I couldn't think of any better way find closure this time around with Dad. The funeral home offered cremation viewing, and I gratefully accepted.

I blinked away tears and softly hummed "Amazing Grace" as Dad's cardboard container rolled into the ovens. (You don't burn caskets, folks.) The door sealed, I breathed a sigh. And then I complemented the Fosters on their very modern crematory.

I suppose Mr Foster and my husband though we were nuts. I explained that I only knew the old school machines... wheel-turning, gauge flicking devices of a bygone era. Jay Foster showed me the all the modern updates.

I knew in my heart that my dad would have spent an hour listening to Jay explain it all. I am my father's daughter. He instilled in me a love for technology and gadgets. At that very moment, I was filling his shoes.

My father's mind had slipped away over a month ago due to complications from Parkinson's. The man I loved was no longer in that living shell. 
But, at that moment in the crematorium, standing next to the massive machine, I felt as though that shell had burned away to free the man. Perhaps Dad was with me in spirit that moment, softly smiling at my insatiable curiosity and listening to our conversation.

Today was the day I bid my Daddy goodbye. It was closure akin to cupping a young bluebird in my palms as I carry it outside. My fingers uncurl to reveal the heavens. At that moment the bird is both afraid and unsure. One tiny boost from my palm and the bird spreads its wings and takes flight. One bird sails into the heavens. One soul slips the bonds of earth to touch God.