the gay gay jew (unappropriate) wrote,
the gay gay jew

a long time coming

you well know i've had nana bertha's ashes for about two and a half years now, and i've been trying to figure out what exactly would be the right thing to do with them. i'm going down to jacksonville next weekend to visit mom's grave (for the first time in 12 years, which makes me feel on one hand like a terrible son, and on the other like i'm finally doing something right, so... yeah), and The Sister Amy and i thought it would be a mitzvot to have nana's ashes interred with mom. i spent several months going back and forth with the woman who would coordinate that, and in the end, it seems mom's plot isn't big enough to dig anywhere else other than directly on top of mom, and even though they wouldn't be digging all the way down to where the coffin is (was?), i absolutely refuse to disturb the earth on top of her. and there's a mausoleum at a cemetery a couple miles away where they could put the ashes, but that's not quite the same, and anyway they won't do anything without having some sort of ceremony, but they won't have a ceremony on a saturday cuz it's shabbat, and TSA and i are leaving on sunday morning.

so i started investigating other options. i can't have nana interred in pittsburgh with papa jack, cuz he's buried in an orthodox (or at least conservative) cemetery, and since jews aren't supposed to be cremated, they won't allow it. i found out mount auburn cemetery has plots for sale yet, and last weekend i went to walk around and look at the areas where they have available space. i found one that is just about perfect, and i have a meeting set up with the burial director for today at 1:30, and the reality of it is just about now setting in.

nana was... well, you know (or by now should know, and i don't think i have the energy to go into it all again right now) exactly what she meant to me, and i never really had a chance to repay her for that kindness, and it feels like now i finally have that opportunity, but this... this was never how i envisioned it would happen.

i'm sure there are other emotions at play here too, things coming back about mom and the like, and yes, it's played a big part in a smoking relapse, but it's... it's like there's a hole that opens in your chest, you know? a palpable hole that you breathe and you can feel the air hitting the void. the wind blows, and when it hits your body you can feel it hitting against the hollowness.

or maybe you can't feel it at all.

but i'm not numb this time, which i guess is an improvement on my past experiences with mourning. but i definitely feel the heaviness, the weight and reality of it all. i feel like i've had closure with this so many times now - the tattoo, the photos, the ashes themselves - and now i'm having to go through this again. which... is it really supposed to be about me? it should be about nana, shouldn't it? or since she's gone, is it now about my finding closure or experiencing the sadness again? when does it become appropriate to... i don't even know what i'm trying to say.

don't get me wrong - i do feel very good about the situation and about myself for doing this for her. i honestly cannot imagine a more beautiful place to put her as a final resting spot, and it'll be nice to be able to visit her in a way that doesn't involve just walking by the cupboard in the hall between my living room and bedroom, but it's still... when i woke up this morning, i could feel something there, or maybe nothing there, and i wasn't sure if i was compartmentalizing or repressing. now it's become clear that it was just the building of what's here now, that wasn't fully-developed just yet.

don't worry about me - i'm good. this is a positive thing, this... this whatever-it-is - better to feel something than nothing, i think, and as long as i'm feeling something and not pushing it away, that means i'm dealing with it. or at least letting myself feel it.

so yeah. i'm good. or i'll be good. i'm doing right by nana, which is what's most important here, but it's just left me a bit... floundering. i'll find my footing again, i always do. it's just the navigation i'm a little uncertain of right now. maybe it's the Finality of it all. and not just that, but the reality! because i've known she's gone, and i've known that i have her ashes, and i know i have my pictures and my memories, but until now it's been easy enough to forget and go about my day and just live life.

but now it's back out there again, and i have to deal with it. which i know makes it about me again, but maybe that's how it's supposed to be. i still remember when, after mom died, nana told me that "it never goes away, but it gets easier." she was right, both about mom and, as it turns out, about herself. i just have to remember that, yes, it got harder again, but that will pass. and i'm doing the right thing.

hm. first entry since the spring. not quite what i'd planned, but much as i hate the expression, it is what it is.
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