First, Dave. Sixty-two, active, a live wire. Dead on the sofa when his best friend came to pick him up for surfing early one morning. Heart.
Next, Sheri. Fifty-two, fat-ish, fun. Didn’t wake up when her husband brought in her coffee Saturday morning. Heart.
Then, Trudy. A week shy of seventy. Meticulous, mild-tempered, good-natured. Sank to the ground in the parking lot of her health club. Heart.
I think they would be happy to know this sad sequence got my ass in gear. No way will I have my family scrambling to find a suitable resting place at the last minute. I want them to spend all their time telling heartwarming stories about me and bawling their eyes out instead.
A quick perusal online led me to a visit very soon after by a Trident Society representative.
“Come in. Let’s sit at the table here.” I gesture for her to put her briefcase on the dining table.
She’s sure not what I expected. Heavy-set, middle-aged, wearing a polished sea stone necklace that picks up the colors of floral pantsuit, she smiles happily. I guess I thought “she” would be a “he”, would be as pale as his suit was black, would look forlorn and drive a hearse.
“Thanks. No. No coffee for me. May I?” gesturing to the table. Getting down to business, she spills her kit onto the red tablecloth and spreads out the contents. Plastic sleeves holds pictures of various urns, some resembling jewelry boxes, some, overgrown Chinese take-out containers. Next to them she lines up pictures of landscapes and seascapes, apparently potential locations for the contents of those chests.
“Lots of choices, all very ecologically sound, to contain your cremains,” she beams. Like she is showing me a new car or a nice living room accessory. “Your choice, all for the same price. And the special this month includes a nice photo-cube memory box to seal in a little bit of your ashes . A nice memento for the surviving family.”
“Ah, like my relic, in case I’m even canonized,” I joke. She doesn’t laugh. Apparently she only laughs at her own jokes.
I choose the red one, a giant Chinese take-out box which is biodegradable. “Just toss it in the Bay,” she chortles. No need for my poor family to see the ashes float first. I’ll sink like a stone, and become one with the sand on the bottom in a matter of hours.
“This is perfect. I love the color red. I love water in life. I am sure I’ll love it in death. Do you take credit cards?”