I got a letter today. A bland, unemotional letter from the hospital, that blandly, unemotionally told me that your ashes are ready to be picked up. I didn’t see it coming; somebody told me that I’d get a phone call when I could bring you home. I made up a story about how it would be; it would probably come while I was at work and that would suck and would I need to go home etc. etc. etc. I never expected some cold printout.

I expected a bill. I opened it up and the words hit me with such force that I fell to the floor and sobbed. I can’t remember the last time pain took the legs out from under me. The bruises on my knees are still fresh. I lay there on the floor and just wailed.

The strange thing is, I somehow knew it was happening this week. In the past few days I’ve had all sorts of intrusive, tormented thoughts about where your tiny body was. Stranger than that is that your daddy has been having the same thoughts all week. Somehow we knew.

I’m relieved and I’m sadder than ever. I’m glad you’re coming home, that where you are is no longer a mystery. But now there’s nothing but ashes, with a finality I did and didn’t expect.