When the social worker in the cancer service said she wanted a meeting with me, I figured it was about getting more vouchers for parking. Instead, she whipped out this pile of papers and told me straight up, it is time to plan for your funeral. My family was muttering, what the hell! Is she crazy? That was on Friday. All day Saturday, I cursed her and sent her to the devil. But by Sunday, I thought, you know, she’s right.
We all have to go some time. We all have to die of something. The forms had options for having a burial or getting burned, and I was really worried about getting burned, just in case I could still feel it and thinking about how bad it would hurt. And then when my auntie tried to send her husband’s ashes home, and there are all these rules for human remains, and it cost a fortune. So it wasn’t more convenient that a regular coffin, it seems like.
But then there was a section that says you can have your body burned, you know, cremated, and then they make it into a glass heart instead of just giving you an urn with ashes in it. The ashes themselves are used to make the heart, you see? And I was thinking, nobody is going to stop my daughter if she happens to travel to my home country and has a glass heart in her suitcase. They are not gonna know that it is me.
Of course I mean my body. Because I want my spirit to fly free. I have told my family, don’t try and hold me back. I’m gonna be so ticked off if you try to keep me here. I am really worried about it, because we have all these things our people do to trap a departing spirit, like burying the loved one’s cross in the yard, and other rituals. But I don’t think a glass heart could hold me back. I don’t think it would trap me here. I don’t want to be caught between worlds.
Yeah, they don’t like me to talk about it like this, I understand. And hey, of course it’s harder for the ones left behind. I know. I lost my own mom when I was just eleven years old. But like I told them, I’ll see you on the other side. I’ll be waiting for you there. But like it or not, you have to let me go. So I am thinking of the glass heart, and if it breaks, oh, well. At least it was lovely for a while. That’s all we can ask, right?