Real talk here from the widow-who-shall-not-be-judged-because-grief-is-an-individual-thing: tomorrow I bury Mark.

Well, the part of him I’m going to bury, anyway, as the boys want to spread some of his ashes where their mom is spread. Which means that today, I had to do the task I’d been putting off: dividing the ashes. I had gotten stuck on the idea of closed and open systems. (Career problem.) Once that bag was opened, there would be no chance of not having wastage. Some of Mark would drift away, lost in the floorboards of the house or wherever the wind would take him. I forced myself to do it anyway. I took the plastic bag filled with Mark outside, cut off the zip tie, and started scooping out Mark ash, Mark bone, and either what is part of his knee replacement or part of the crematory machinery that fell onto his body (I think the former). I filled two empty pill containers for absolutely no reason (rainy day mentality?), one gallon-size ziplock bag for the future spreading activity with the kids, and then resealed the original bag with a new zip tie and put it in my car so I don’t forget to take it to the cemetery tomorrow (widow-brain is no joke.).

There was wastage; how could there not be? I wiped my hands off on my kale plants and the sweatshirt of Mark’s that I am wearing. I’m letting the little table I worked on, now covered in DNA-infused Mark powder, to sit in a sunny, windy spot to let nature move him wherever she will. (Bob has decided to guard it.)

The day is stunningly beautiful, the Steelers must be losing judging from the neighbors screaming on their patios, and I feel sad but I am okay. Mark’s not in that ash, anyway. He’s with me, in my heart and mind. Just like before, I am carrying him. Love. Isn’t it amazing?

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