I’ve heard stories about funerals during which the deceased, as dictated by their living wills, distribute jewelry to their mourners, little glass jars on little silver chains, each jar containing a portion of the ashes that are their earthly remains.
After cremation, the notion goes, rather than having your ashes blown out to sea the option exists to send each and every one of those who’ve come to see you laid to rest home with a portion, that they might have some part of you, some real, tangible thing, to remember you by.
And I do admit, I find myself impressed by the notion.
It strikes me as the perfect sort of weird, passive aggressive power play to make, and one that you will never, ever be called to account on, because who would be crass enough to speak ill of a dead man at his own funeral?
You would know why I had done it, but there would be nothing you could do about the matter without seeming like the worst sort of person in front of everyone who’d ever cared about me. So you’d smile, and accept the little glass jar on its little silver chain, and pretend that it held some kind of meaning for you.
And, from beyond the grave, if anything beyond the grave does exist, I’d laugh.
“Here,” I would tell you, “have something you do not want, but can never, ever, for as long as you might live, throw away.”
And you would have to grin and take it, knowing as you did that I had, one last time, gotten the better of you with the sort of weird, petty, childish prank that you’d so long put up with during my life.
And perhaps this reminder of who I had been, and what it had been that drew you to me during my life might make you, for one brief moment in the middle of my funeral, smile.
Or perhaps it would not.
Either way, you’d be stuck with the jewelry.