My mother-in-law passed away in January. She died of… well, everything. That’s both less disrespectful and closer to the truth than you might believe; my father-in-law is fond of saying she had everything but cancer, and the way he describes it never fails to bring this to mind:
My wife’s family, for reasons that have never been clear to me, does not seem to be overly fond of winter funerals. This is, I think, the third family member of hers who has passed since we were married, all of them in the dead of winter, and each and every one had a spring funeral. There has thus far been no service of any kind, and the first formal acknowledgment of her death is going to be May 20th when her ashes are interred. In, uh, this:
She went to see her dad today, and he showed her this; her ashes are inside of it (presumably inside some sort of urn and not, like, poured out all over the bottom of the thing) at this very moment and in fact were there when the picture was taken, but he’d decided he wanted to inter a few other things with her– among which were a crucifix, which my son took one look at and excitedly declared to be a “trophy.” He, being the eminently practical and utterly unsentimental person that he is, looked around the house and decided that this plastic goddamned cooler was the most size-appropriate object he had for the items he wanted to bury with her. And the decision was made; this was to be her eternal resting place, tradition and propriety be damned.
My wife enquired as to whether the gravediggers knew that they were providing a hole for a cooler and not a (presumably) much smaller urn. He, of course, had already made all of the appropriate arrangements. I guarantee he measured the damn thing and sent them precise metric dimensions. Guarantee it. He’s going to do some work in the next few days to get it glued shut and waterproofed (and judging from the way the man wraps Christmas presents, life on Earth will be extinct before water gets inside this thing) and that’s going to be it.
The great part of all this, of course, is that absolutely no one can argue with me when I insist on burying her father’s ashes inside an empty bottle of Beefeater gin when he dies. He’ll appreciate it.