Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Man in the Box

I have been watching the generation of my parents passing away one after the other. In my family there are only two left my mother and my dad’s youngest brother. Neither of them is in great condition. I have been attending the family funerals and noting each passage from this life to the next.

Standing by my father’s grave side was an eerie experience. He had been cremated and his ashes were carried to the grave site in a small thin cardboard box. The four by four grave was only about two feet deep and I watched a man from the funeral home kneel down and gently place the box of ashes in the bottom. The preacher said a prayer and it was all over.

As I contemplated that grave the thought that came to mind was, “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” The sandy red dirt that was returned to the grave will cover the box ok but the first good rain will seep down to the box of ashes and it will dissolve and collapse. Truly all that remains of my fathers body will be mixed with the Texas earth and one day no one will be able to tell it was ever there. It is fitting to the man in the box to become one with the earth. 

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