I want to share an anecdote about buying the box to hold my daughter's cremains. This is not, generally speaking, the story subject which begs for humor, but some of the absurdity was hard to ignore.
The funeral home that cremated my daughter said that we could purchase an urn from them, but that they were basically limited in selection, expensive, and not particularly attractive. He suggested that we go to a Hallmark-esque store and find a box or container that we actually liked, and they would place the cremains within. I really liked the funeral home guy. I expected to see a stodgy old man with a melancholy voice and perhaps a flower in his lapel...a la Dan Ackroid in My Girl. The guy we met with looked like a linebacker, had a sweet smile, and was wearing gym shorts. He also didn't charge us for their services.
With his advice in mind, I went on an internet quest to find the perfect box. I don't know how people were able to find memorial gifts before the internet. There are no "Sorry Someone Died" stores. That's an employee discount I think most of us could do without. There are, however, internet shops which are geared toward people like me, and really in all kids of loss. I was able to get a wind chime and Christmas ornament this way, which was really satisfying. No box, though.
So then I went on the Things Remembered website. Boxes galore. I settled on a box that, two weeks ago, I would have absolutely hated. Had I seen it in a store I probably would have pointed it out to someone, rolled my eyes, and even stuck out my tongue. As one of my friends said, which really touched me, it's right that my daughter should change my point of view on the world a bit. It is in a heart shape, filigree, with an angel on the lid. Everything I used to hate. It was perfect. It also wouldn't ship for two weeks. Not good enough.
So I went to the Things Remembered store in my local mall. I've decided they should rename this store "Shiny Shit We Engrave". They had the box I wanted, and I had already decided on an inscription. Then, as a matter of routine and policy for the store, she asked the occasion for which I was purchasing said box. I guess people don't normally buy themselves shiny shit with inscriptions, and they're normally gifts. When I told the clerk it was a memorial box, they realized that's not an option on their list. Really? A store called Things Remembered doesn't occasionally sell stuff for memorials? I don't buy that!
So, while we waited for the box to be engraved, I took Mia to the playground in the mall. What else does one do while waiting for the box to hold a child's ashes?