6 months ago today I bought a coffin.
I have to make sure it’s masculine. Not too religious. No Last Supper or Jesus’. Anthony isn’t spiritual. I am, however, my son won’t want to spend eternity in a church-y coffin.
My miracle I was waiting for isn’t happening. Anthony is going to die. I should say we are going to LET him die. In peace.
Dr. Fink confirmed that Anthony isn’t returning home. The brain damage is beyond reparation and his lungs are failing. I can chose to keep him on life support, or “let him go in peace.”
“Dr. Fink, lets answer the $800k question. You’re a parent. If this was your child, what would you do?”
His answer is why I am standing here at the Funeral Home in their coffin room. I immediately spot a bronze coffin with a brushed gold detail on the corners and handles. Very high-end, masculine and plush looking. I think Anthony would like this one.
Joey and Luciano both yelled at me when I reconfirmed our previous family’s position on our DNRs.
“Mom, Why the hell are you asking us this question again?? We all agree, Anthony would NOT want to live on machines. We said this the first day he was in the hospital. Why are you bringing it up again?”
“Boys, we are at the point of no return. That’s why. The decision we make, we make as a family. Maybe you changed your minds? Your Dad and I want you both to know that you get a say.”
We held each other tight that night. Tears and sniffles could be heard from Joey and Luciano’s respective bedrooms when we finally did go to bed. I don’t remember sleeping.
Now here I am, buying a coffin. What the hell is happening??? Is this real??
Anthony is still alive. He will be until we move him to hospice, tomorrow. Today is Ash Wednesday. I made sure he got his ashes this morning. He is not religious, but this I wanted. His sins, absolved. I want him in Heaven.
Father Andre gave him ashes and then gave me mine. Thanking him, I felt a bit hopeful that I had done what I could spiritually. For me. I needed the spiritual part.
I headed out of the hospital to plan a funeral. My son’s funeral. Tomorrow we will move him to Hospice, extubate and let nature steer the rest.
The cemetery was easy choice. Lou’s parents had pre-planned plots, in a mausoleum. I just need one for Anthony. Simple, right?
No. I need to move them. Their current planned space does not have crypts available nearby. They won’t mind. Not like they’re using them. Yet…
There is a nice corner, open and airy and I can get all 5 single plots (Anthony, Nonna, Nonno, Sal and Anna).
“No problem. Lou pay the man.”
I cry all the way along the walk to the cemetery office.
It IS A PROBLEM. I am buying a crypt for my son. He is supposed to buy one for me. Not the other way around!
What the fuck is happening???
Now I am looking at coffins. The Funeral Director says I have to have metal coffin in this mausoleum. Each cemetery has guidelines. So that means the bronze one is in the running… I like that one.
I like that one?? What the hell am I doing??
Jesus, crosses, grey, embroidery…too many choices.
Why so many roses and flowers??? I don’t want a girly coffin. Geez, is masculine too much to ask?
Lou is visibly uncomfortable in the room. Anxious. His eyes are darting anywhere but to where I was looking.
“Jacq, how about this one?”
Did he just say something?
As I turn around he is pointing at the midnight blue metal “glitter” coffin with a blue satin lining. The satin gave off almost a blue-light effect. The glittery paint flickers in the light.
He says “This is nice…it’s blue.”
Lou has picked out a pimp-mobile. For our son. My son will just need a velvet suit to be buried in.
This isn’t a coffin, it’s a velvet painting on steroids.
Well, the pimp-mobile would have meaning. My son chased a lot of “Hos” while alive. His bad taste in women is the thing of legend. Boobs, short skirt, he was in love.
Now, he was going to Heaven in a pimp-mobile.
I turn back to the Funeral Director, “we will take the bronze one.”
“No Problem. Lou pay the man.”