They came in the mail, the postman delivered them in a small box. There was a black sticker on the outside. Cremated Remains it said. I had to sign for them. That makes sense right? Who would want to get a package of some stranger’s ashes? Even worse if they were to get lost. The mailman knew what he was delivering. Clearly he had seen the sticker. Honestly I felt bad for the guy. There was a look of deep sadness in his eyes as he handed me the package. “Sign here sir” he said. “I’m sorry.” Me too Mr. mailman, me too. Sorry that the love of my life, my soulmate, is gone forever, sorry for all the good times that will never be, sorry even for all the fights we will never have, sorry that I’m now a widow at age 42. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
The pain is still so fresh. The grief so raw. It’s all so surreal. I open the box. Inside is another box. A small black plastic container. A piece of white tape clearly printed from a label maker with her name the only marking. There is also a certificate of cremation. Like some fucking award from work for best new product idea or something. One of those template certificates from Word or PowerPoint. Everybody has a couple pegged up in their office. Congratulations, your wife is dead and the remains of her dead body have been incinerated. This is your certificate to prove it just in case anybody asks.
The plastic box opens on one side. Inside the box is a bag. There she is. Everything she ever was or ever could be. Reduced to a bag of dust. I don’t know how to move forward from this. I don’t know how to go on. Life for me however continues. This sad lonely life. Everybody says it gets better with time. The pain diminishes. The memories fade. From where I’m sitting the future looks bleak. A future without my baby. The love of my life. Goodbye sweetheart. God I miss you.