Funeral life is boring this week. Only three cremations. One I did entirely over the phone and thru fax, so won't even see the family till they come in to pick up the urn. A little out of the ordinary. He died almost three weeks ago but wasn't found for awhile. in the middle of a divorce, but the wife signed the cremation authorization and paid the bill anyway. It worked out well, when it could have been very ugly. The adult sons on both sides made sure it went smoothly, each protecting their own parent. It was nice to see that they could work together and take care of things.
One urn burial today at a national cemetery. He was 91 and he and his wife are the only ones left in this area. She had no one to talk to the day he died, but me. She told me several times about how he died, it was quick and she believes he had no pain. She heard the death rattle. I've heard other people describe it and then another lady this week used the term "death rattle". I guess it's rather unsettling. It's not a choking but an inability to catch one's breath. Sort of. Similar to wheezing only there's a really weird sound. The wife told me she won't ever forget the sound. She said he couldn't speak with words when she asked if he was alright, but he met her eyes and she knew he understood what was happening. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. She said she was the sick one, not him, so she really didn't expect it at all. 91 and death is unexpected. Maybe we never expect it, even when someone is sick and the loved ones know they are dying, usually the death is still a shock. I talk about this as if I know. I've not lost anyone since I was in my early 20s and I'm (well) past that now. :)
I feel quiet today and somewhat unhinged. Now there's a weird word. I told Steve recently that sometimes, lots of times, and anywhere, not just at work, I hear quiet voices in the background and I see movement out of the corner of my eye. He didn't know what to say and just nodded. What could he possibly say to a confession of that sort. It's probably all in my head, although Schewan says that it's energy which I'm more susceptible to now. I don't know how that fits into any kind of theology. I know some people are very specific in that they are not to be cremated for 24-72 hours after death (whatever their own magical time limit is) so that their spirits have time to leave the body and the area before the burning commences. It's not as if they'd be burned alive, so I don't get the need for a time frame. Mostly I guess I think the soul leaves the body immediately upon physical death, and I believe in an afterlife...yes, heaven or hell. I think you probably get to go right to heaven if that's your destiny, but i'm not entirely sure about the hell-bound souls. Do they wander? And why do I think their time frame may be different than heaven-bound souls? Wouldn't the final disposition happen equitably? I don't have any answers. Only questions. The biggest of which is where in the world is Schewan. My head is pounding (a cold last week has left me with a five day headache).