Cremate

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cremate: (v) to reduce a dead body to ashes by fire

I grew up with a “Kellogg’s” approach to death and burial.

This was more or less taking your loved one, sticking him or her in a box, sealing the lid and tucking the flake away.

All the funerals I went to had gorgeous cereal boxes. They all ended up at a gravesite where the container was lowered into the ground, covered over and marked with a stone that insisted in granite that this individual once lived.

So when my thirteen-year-old son passed away from complications due to a hit-and-run accident, I was far from any home we had, traveling on the road. I immediately discovered that those boxes ain’t cheap.

Not only are they expensive, but they demand that you buy a plot of land—which is also extremely costly—and place your loved one in an area where you must to drive to visit.

Well, I realized I was not going to live in the community where my boy died, so I was offered the option of cremation. It was considerably less money. Also, at the end of the process, they handed over a box containing a sealed, plastic bag of dusty and ashy remains.

It was rather shocking. Opening the lid, I took a peek at the contents. It reminded me of when I was a kid and was given the job in late October of cleaning the fireplace out so we would be able to make a nice, cozy flame on cold, winter nights.

… Ashen, clingy powder that wanted to stick to your skin—or if you got it too close to your face and inhaled, could make you cough.

This was not my son. This didn’t represent his brief journey.

I thought to myself, maybe it’s a good thing. Instead of painting up something that’s dead and gone, burn it up, confirming that it will no longer be here.

I picked up the carton, put it in the back of our van, and we traveled with it for years—stuck in the corner near the wheel well.

At times I considered scattering the ashes, but there was no particular place that had more significance than another. Absent finding a resting ground for his soot, I felt more inclined to just keep him nearby.

Matter of fact, he’s still with us.

My younger son has taken him and lifted him up in honor … in a corner of the attic.


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Cellophane

Cellophane: (n) a thin transparent wrapping material made from viscose.

I love cellophane. Not intimately, but certainly personally.

You can see through it. It’s great for wrapping sandwiches. They call that “Saran-Wrap.”

I have two complaints. (It is very American of me to lead with the fact that I love something and then quickly explain why it also annoys the hell out of me.)

So doing my duty for God and country, I will tell you that cellophane sometimes gets too attached. You try to remove it from a package or unwrap something and it clings to your hand.

The first instinct is to reach over and remove it with your other hand–but then it clings to that hand. So you end up shaking your paw in the air to dislodge yourself from the sticky situation, resembling an exercise one might do to alleviate stress.

Clingy.

“Don’t cling to me, baby. I’m no good for you.”

It won’t listen.

Secondly, there are times it refuses to cling. I have lined up a whole series of sandwiches, preparing to wrap them up, only to discover when I finished, and it was time to put the last fold down, it would not stick to itself–popping up in the air to mock my efforts. So then that side of the sandwich has to be carefully placed on the bottom of the cooler, to make it look like the sandwiches are well-wrapped (when you know in your heart they aren’t.)

And then when you arrive at the family picnic, someone always says, “Who wrapped this sandwich?”

They are fully aware of which cooler they took the sandwich from–it’s just a way of humiliating you.

So even though I do love cellophane, I certainly have my beefs against it.

Maybe someday we will work out our differences. And then I will be happy.

And it will be a Glad Wrap.

 

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