(Yes, I'm waiting for someone to tell me that my sisters and I are a bunch of sick bastards, but I think my brother would have absolutely loved this - and laughed himself silly, too!)
Have a great holiday, folks! Enjoy. I'll be back with more of the travelogue when my hand and wrist aren't screaming at me. (The bruise is slowly spreading to the top of my hand and this was typed entirely - and very slowly - with my left hand. Grrr.)
I think the ways you and your family have been bringing your brother along for things is great. The inherent humor aside (that "smokin' bones" bit was so OMG funny), including him gives you longer to adjust. There would only be a problem (in my know-it-all opinion) if you continued to carry his remains with you everywhere for the rest of your life.
It seems like we have problems with death in our culture...or at least I do. And I see people running away from it all the time. I'm really impressed by the way you have accepted it and even found humor in it.
Of course, I know it hasn't been a walk in the park for you, and I know humor makes things easier in general, but I think it takes a special kind of person to find humor in death. I'm just not there yet, and it's somehow comforting to read the (absolutely wonderful) writing of someone who is.
(And beyond the wonderful writing, which I have really been enjoying, you remind me of my mother's side of the family. While my dad's side lives mainly in the South, my mom's side is from the Midwest. They moved around a lot in Illinois and Michigan. Even your face kind of reminds me of my aunts! So it's almost like I'm reading about family here, which is pretty cool.)
Heather, I'm glad you get what we were doing! :-) I think, in the end, we're each going to get a small parcel of my brother's ashes to scatter somewhere we feel is appropriate. I don't see a point in keeping someone's ashes around permanently. They've moved on, and, eventually, we should, too. But that's just my $0.02 worth. :-) I'd like to take some of my brother's ashes down to the Florida Keys - I kept telling him he'd totally love it there.
I've become more at peace with death since my mom's passing in 2001, which was beyond traumatic. But, when someone is so ill that there is no quality of life left, it is less painful to let them go. My brother's life had become a daily trial of misery with only tiny snippets of respite from the struggle. I hope he's having a helluva great time now, exploring whatever there is out there. :-)
When I first saw this photo, I thought the glasses were on a balloon(yeah, perhaps it's time for reading glasses for old Cyn...)
Are you sure we're not related? I can absolutely see me and my sister constructing a similar tableau.
Even though I only know Ed through your writing and I'm no expert on the afterlife, I feel fairly certain that he is having a helluva great time exploring the "out there." And simultaneously hovering over your shoulder, loving every minute as you celebrate his unique spirit with obvious affection and a wicked sense of humor.
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