Long in the Future Came Today

I have ignored voice mails from the mortuary for weeks now.

I do not erase them;

I do not listen to them.

I ignore them.

There  is some kind of end there that  I was not interested in.

Picking up Mommy’s ashes;

In the rosewood box that sat next to my fathers ashes

after I pre-payed her long-in-the-future


Long in the future came today.

I spent the morning at the mortuary.

I had paper work to fill out

and Howard to talk to.

He is the mortician  and his kids are alcoholics.

He knew Mommy was an alcoholic.

“It is always so obvious;

It is always so sad.”

Howard wanted to know why I fought to have

“Chronic Alcoholism”

as Mommy’s cause of death

on her death certificate.

I told him I wanted to tell the truth;

to have her death count

in the statistics.

My son asked to go with me to pick up

my mother’s cremains.

We went after school,

long after the paperwork had been completed.

He carried the Rosewood box carefully to the car.

We sat quietly for a time, the box between us.

The coffee shop near the mortuary is near my mother’s

first nursing home.

In the first year we would take her there for coffee and an apple fritter.

Today we stopped by and grabbed an apple fritter;

and a cup of coffee.

Both remain untouched.

We are looking for some kind of closure.

We are looking for some way to say goodbye,

after the long goodbye of

alcoholics dementia.

We want to say goodbye to


for good.

The long goodbye,

started years ago,

began again today.

This is not the first time my son has seen

an alcoholic or a drug addict die.

This is not the first time alcoholic cremains have traveled shotgun.

I hope to God it is  it is the last.

Peace, again in pieces,


~ by Step On a Crack on January 28, 2012.

13 Responses to “Long in the Future Came Today”

  1. Thanks for writing out and sharing your emotions on this.


  2. Keep sharing the truth my sweet Warrior woman! I love you to pieces!!! Peace, love mel


  3. Very beautifully and poignantly written, Jen. Thank you so much for making me *feel*.


  4. Reading about you and your son today left me thinking about the journeys we take together that are verbal, maybe even loud, sometimes decisive, sometimes just for fun. And the journeys we take in shared experience, and shared space, and silence, where the feelings and the non-words hang thick in the air. I think sometimes quiet solutions come out of those silent moments just like written plans may come out of our partnered verbalizations. Both have their time and place in the process, but sometimes silence looks like doing nothing and we have to hang onto ourselves to give it time to finish its task.


  5. Feelings and non-words hanging thick, here, Jen.
    So sorry. You are so far away from where I am, geographically, but I still can feel the pain, clear down here in the Deep South. It hurts a lot, doesn’t it. Of course. I cannot imagine carrying such pain. No wonder you are so careful with it. Love to you. Love to your dear son.


  6. Jen, I seem to catch you in fits and starts as I travel through the deep South of Texas. I’m wanting to catch up today, but that may not happen. Please be assured of my prayers, daily.

    When you write of your grieving, I want to share it a little. I hope with all of our comments, God gives you a little bit of a lightened burden. We want to help you carry this, but alas, it’s your work. We can only come alongside and pray for Him to make your burdens lighter.

    I join you in begging that this be the last of alcoholism in your nuclear family.


    • Heidi!

      Hello! I am holding you in my heart ALL the time!

      You are a dear friend. Life is good that way…

      Grief: it is coming and going now. So it goes. It is much better most days and then BAMMO it hits! I see something that reminds me and the tears (or anger) flow.

      I am working with an ACA group and trying to focus on gratitude without denying my very real feelings.

      Balance, right?

      I hope the mud is drying up btw.

      Love, Jen


  7. Dear Jen – It’s almost unthinkable that you and your sweet son would have to face the same killer twice. It’s too much to forgive, a part from the grace of God. My heart aches as I read this and picture your brave son, loving the mother, who is dedicating her life to make this his last intimate encounter with the visitor who dropped by and never left.
    my love and prayers follow you,


    • Dear Debbie,

      I adore you. You are in my heart all the time. Thank you for being here, really.

      I pray that the Curse will not descend. I fear that prayer will go unanswered. So many still drinking heavily. So many.

      I pray that we come to terms with it. That we can be a solid base for our son and that he can evade the Beast.

      It may be too late for other family members. I pray not. And I am ready if alcoholism takes them all.

      This is a curse. For not just my family, but for our culture.

      OK. I just can’t tell you how much your presence in my life means to me.

      Love, Jen

      PS. I think Mel and I would make terrific gate guards!!! You two have too much fun. Attitude is indeed everything!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: