Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I was thinking about sleeping position in the bed. My mother always slept on the right side and my father on the left as opposed to how my husband and I position ourselves. He must sleep on the right. Later on in my parents' lives, my mother made my father switch sides. Due to health considerations and the fact that my father could only sleep comfortably on his right side, my mother made him sleep on the other side of the bed, the side closest to the bathroom. I started wondering about how and why people make these choices, and do they ever change like that. Then I was wondering about my mother. After my father died, she started sleeping with a body pillow on his side of the bed, the right side. She didn't move back to that position, even though it had been hers for the majority of their relationship. I wondered what side she was sleeping on now, and my mind visualized her in her various home places as my mind tried to picture her sleeping in a bed.
It happens in the space of a second, the speed in which your brain can conceive of all these ideas and conjure they images without any words actually being verbalized internally. It led to the realization that my mother is dead, so she doesn't sleep on any side of the bed. In her rehabilitation home, she had a twin bed with a rail, and I saw that, but then nothing, so I realized. It hit me at that moment, with a deep, absolute, heavy feeling--heavy as in a weight pressing me down and making the pressure of the air around me seem dense--that my mother is dead, completely gone from this earth. I couldn't breathe for a moment, and the house seemed absolutely still. I felt a weird little spark. Why have I never really comprehended it? She is gone. She was cremated, so she is burned up. Her soft, pinky white and freckly skin is burned up. The bony bridge of her nose is burned up. Her curly brown and silver hair, just newly permed not long before she died is gone, burned up. Her beautiful, perfect & strong oval fingernails that always got her so many compliments are burned away. Her bony feet are gone.
Why do we burn bodies? It seems so ecologically unsound, if more hygienic. Can't they put me in the ground in no box, and let my body return to dust as it nourishes the soil? Doesn't it take a lot of energy to burn a body? I have a little sample of ashes in a tiny memorial urn, so I still have a few molecules of her, I guess. What good does that do anyone, though.