Tuesday, October 2, 2012

There Is NOT a Skeleton in My Closet

Now that we are fully entrenched in preschool, I have found myself on more than one occasion having to explain things that my child has said (or drawn) to her teachers. I am afraid that I will arrive one day to find that CPS is waiting to take her away and I want to have evidence to the contrary.

Yesterday, when I picked up the child, the teacher said, "She comes up with the weirdest things to say to me. I just don't know where she comes up with it."

I cock my head to the side, inquisitively, "Like what?" while simultaneously looking wearingly at my daughter who is trying to pull the Hubs and myself out of the door.

"Well, she was explaining to me that her Grandpa was ashes that had been burnt up, but that you keep his head in a box and his ribs in the closet?"

Sigh. This. Again.

Let me go back a bit. My father died when the Supergirl was 2 months old. 10 days later I was ordered  to go on bed rest, underwent major surgery, was hospitalized for almost a full two weeks, and ordered not to do any heavy lifting for at least 3 months. They identified heavy lifting as greater than 5 pounds. The Supergirl was born weighing 9.3 pounds. It was not a good match.

Just when I was finally ready to think that life was under control again, I got two calls in the same week. One from my father's landlord ordering me to have the property cleaned out and the other from the crematorium letting me know that my father's cremains were ready for pickup.

The ashes were in a canvas totebag. It sat in the laundry room for over a year until I moved it into my closet on a high shelf out of the reach of children and pets.

Flash forward to an ordinary Sunday at our house. I am doing laundry, planning out my week, when the Supergirl says, "Momma, where's Paw-Paw?"

A good parent, a better parent would say, "Paw-Paw is in Heaven (or with God, with the dog, or even the angels)."

I said, "In the closet."

Her eyes lit up. "Can I see?"

"Sure," was my reply. I still cannot figure out why this would seem like an appropriate conversation with a 4 year old kid. I cannot figure out why I did not stop myself, why I let myself continue. I know that I broke her and no amount of therapy money is going to get back this moment.

As we walked to the closet, she rubbed her hands together eagerly. "I have never seen Death before. I am SO excited!" Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod, what are you doing to this child. STOP. STOP. STOP. You can make this all stop if you just... the voice in my head just keeps on yammering, while my body keeps moving forward, closer and closer to the box.

I grab the box from it's place on the shelf and I turn to face the girl. The glee on her face turns to terror. "IS THAT HIS HEAD!?!?"

And if that wasn't enough, I say, "Nope, just his ashes" and open the box.

We got rid of the ashes a few weeks ago, a few days after his 65th birthday. Finally. But the child still believes that we have his ashes, his head, and his ribs in my closet.

And now she has taken it on as her job to inform the public.

You have now been warned.


  1. LOL! I needed a laugh today! That is utterly hilarious.

  2. Oh noooo - hahahaha. I always worry about some of the crazy things my kids may tell their teacher "out of context" too. (TALU)

  3. I'm less concerned by that than the fact that you "got rid of" the ashes? :( I'm hoping to be cremated and sprinkled out in the ocean some day. I laugh and tell my sister to have one of my friends in particular do it, because she won't freak out if some of me blows back at her LOL.

    You traumatized your kid with ashes, and I traumatized my sister's dog with ashes. One of the dogs died after a very long and happy life. My sister was given her ashes in a very nice box (sadly, nicer than what we got our Dad in), along with her collar back. That evening, as I went to leave after watching TV together, I put my hand on the box and said a sad good night to the remains (I'm weird, what can I say) What I hadn't counted on was that in doing that, I hit the collar and made the tags jingle. The remaining dog bolted out of her cocoon buried somewhere under a pile of blankets on the couch like a rocket. She tore through the house looking for her "sister." I felt so bad, I almost cried! :( [#TALU]

    1. Sorry, "got rid of" was kind of out of context. My husband, best friend and I went down to the beach and let go of his ashes there. We didn't take the kid, because Lord knows what she would have said to her teachers (not to mention that it wouldn't have been solemn or quiet).

      Very funny story about the dog, although I know at the time you felt horrible.

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