First things first – big, giant thank you’s to everyone in the dog, cat, hamster, and oh everything else blogospheres for all of your love and support in the last few days.  Yes, I am a basket case.  There are so many things to do, and so many emotions getting in the way.

In the midst of my very worst moments, there are occasional glimpses of absurdity that force me to laugh when all I want to do is cry.  Today I had one of those moments.

Klaus was taken to the funeral home on Monday evening.  That is a story unto itself.  There is no guide really to choosing a funeral home.  After Klaus had passed away in my arms on Sunday morning, I felt completely adrift.  What exactly do you do at that moment?  The show is over, the curtain has come down, and the stagehands want to start cleaning up so they can move on to the next gig.  And you are standing there, sad, lonely, and completely confused.  I looked around the room that had been my home for 2 weeks and gathered my things.  The bag of Klaus’ clothing that he was wearing on that awful morning he was admitted to the hospital.  The remainders of the food that had been brought for me that was mostly uneaten.  My own handbag, now bursting with everything I had needed (and much I did not).  It all seemed surreal.  I asked the nurses to give the remaining balloons to someone else in the ICU who might enjoy them (yes they looked a tiny bit sad as the helium no longer kept them at full mast, but they might make someone smile and I would have looked truly pathetic walking out of the hospital with them).  And then what?  I stood outside of Klaus’ room and just waited.  A chaplain materialized out of nowhere (they did this a lot) and handed me my “grief packet”.  So… I leave behind the love of my life and in exchange I get a bag of stinky clothing and a grief packet.  Damn.

The nagging question of “exactly what do I do now” never really gets answered.

Call a funeral home.

Um, ok.

Can you guide me in that choice?

Um, no.

Can you at least tell me some place that doesn’t bury people in the backyard and fill the urn with cigarette ashes?

Um, no.

So I guess I should go now and read my grief packet.

Um, yes.

Damn.  Damn.  Damn.

Klaus’ wish (and mine as well) has always to be cremated.  So I narrowed down the list of funeral homes to those with the word “cremation” in the title.  And then I chose scientifically – by covering my eyes and pointing to one.  I called, they were lovely on the phone, then I called the hospital to inform them of my choice (who knew you called Admitting for this?) and then waited.

And waited.  And waited.

No one called that day.  As the hours ticked by I realized that they might not have my correct phone number.  So I called myself – bingo – and waited for my next contact.

All of which brings me to today.  The facility is lovely.  My funeral director is lovely.  There is no pressure at all to buy an expensive urn.  All of the paperwork I need to complete has been prepared for me.  This is actually the simplest part of the entire transaction, except for the fact that I am transacting my husband.  All seems very well until it is time to pay.

My funeral director disappeared for a moment and when she returned I could see that something wasn’t right.  She turned over the paper with the invoice.  She stammered, and apologized.  I’m sure I did the Airedale-head-cocked-to-the-side thing.  This sort of thing doesn’t happen, she said.  To which I looked directly at her and said in a loud, clear voice, “It’s $666, isn’t it?”.

$666.  Yes indeed-y.  I looked around for Klaus and I laughed out loud, reassuring her that not only was this ok, it was fantastic and hilarious.  Badass to the end – Klaus would have LOVED that.

So thanks for the laugh Klaus, I am SURE this was your doing…

Lulu

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25 thoughts on “The Mark of the Beast”

  1. Badass to the end — love it! My sibs & I also had some “this is the universe calling” experiences when our parents died. I’m starting to think you just have to watch for these messages, but that they’re real.
    – Anne

  2. serendipity… something so rare and meant to be… a sign that klaus is very much still with you lulu, always… never stop the conversations – loves xxx

  3. Knowing that much about you guys from Bogie’s Blog, sure, Klaus wouldn’t let it happen any other mundane way …

  4. Hi Lulu,
    When my mum died, that was the worst time I think, the afterwards part. The dying part although sad, was a relief that for her her pain was over.

    I think I was a bit dumbstruck when my father made me pack up her room within half an hour, while she was still lying in the bed at the home.

    Our funeral director was lovely, and mum was cremated. She now lives in my brothers wardrobe. Best of all, and this might make you laugh is that he takes her on holiday sometimes, his wife and kids don’t mind. She has got to travel to my home, which she never saw as she was too sick.

    Best wishes to you, Bogart and the gang.

    Poppy and Julie Q

  5. Lulu, I know that sense of absurdity well. When my mum died (in our arms) there was a series of surreal events from the moment of calling the undertakers, through the church service, the cremation and a memorial six months later. It was such a relief to laugh at those moments when everything else in our heads was unravelling, so I’m totally with you on this. Klaus indeed would be laughing his head off. My heart is with you as you live through the pain and disorientation. It is also with you as you find the humour and strength to cope with this.
    Big love and hairy hugs, Mojo and Lou.
    ps I had to fight my father for a few of my mums ashes and they were scattered under a tree I planted for her. It helps me hugely in many ways. Mojo is under strict instructions not to dig holes there.

  6. Lulu… our heart is with you, although it is my first time here.
    Your writting is fantastic and the way you express your feelings and the absolute love for your husband… and the way you express your pain…

    We’re so sorry for your loss.

    Pipa

  7. Lulu, we just can’t even imagine what an awful time this is, for you! 🙁 We are glad, though, that you are able to find humor in SOMETHING! 😀

    We’re glad you got some happy tears from the little fuzzy guy! We’re also sorry he didn’t get there sooner, but we had to wait for our mom to finish him. Now, he can watch over you and Bogart for Klaus! 🙂

    We’re still thinking of you, constantly, and hoping things will get a little easier, for you, as time goes by.

    Aire-hugs,
    Poppy, Penny & Patches

  8. LOL! Oh how strange things turn funny when the whole world tips upside down. I’m so sad for you, but I’m glad they’re helping you get the details sorted. I wish there was something I could do to help. All it seems I can do is laugh with you about Klaus’ joke on you with that invoice.
    *big hugs*
    Robyn and the Hotties

  9. Lulu,

    It sounds like Klaus had quite a sense of humor! I wish I had gotten to know you both sooner.

    Pedro (and Rachel)

  10. I bow to the splendor of that which is all around us that we will never understand; … until it smack us in the face. 🙂

    Thoughts to you, Lulu.

  11. oh Lulu, I had tears in my eyes reading this – right up until the end – and then I too burst out laughing.

    My prayers continue to go out for you.

    Mary

  12. To know Klaus was to know a man with a delightful sense of humor and tons of hilarious adventures to relate. Most, unbelievable but all true. Klaus lived a full, rich life (far too short for my taste but I don’t get to decide.) I was going to thank Klaus for this last laugh but, ya know what, I don’t think he’s done. Situations will come up. Bizarre crazy things that make us laugh (perhaps only in their absurdity) and we’ll recognize the mark of Klaus.

  13. We are still keeping you all in our prayers and thoughts. Mom says it is hard to go through… her grandmother passed last September and there was alot of waiting that seemed unnecessary. So, she totally feels for you. We are ALL here for you. Always remember that.
    Hugs,
    Sitka

  14. When my Dad died, Aunt and family accompanied me to funeral home. Director said-what do you want the obituary to say. Like how did I know? My Dad had just died, I was in that awful combination of shock and grief (like you probably are right now). I listed survivors and then said “He was much loved”. Totally grammatically incorrect.. Though Dad would have laughed at my poor grammar.
    Sending you cyberhugs and hoping this tough time passes quickly.

  15. We are sure it’s Klaus sending you a message telling you that he is right there… I don’t think this is something that we can ever understand, nut just bear in mind that you have a new guardian angel now..

  16. Hi Lulu,

    I can so totally relate to your funeral home shopping experience! When my dad died lastyear, I ended up looking one up in the yellow pages. Seemed so crass in the hours following his passing.

    Stay strong.

    Greg

  17. I think this was Klaus’ way of telling you that he is okay and still around to make you laugh when you feel blue. Klaus will be with you forever! He will watch over you. I know that you would rather have him right by you where you could reach over and touch him….but if you reach out your hand….I guarantee he will be holding it.

    I have shed many tears over this and I wish you the best….always.

    Please give Bogart a kiss for me.

  18. Hey Lulu,
    We’re so happy you are able to laugh, it is good for you. My hubby is Mr. Jokester & sure sounds like something he would do, hehehehe! We know Klaus will be looking out for you. The next few weeks will really be different for you, keep thinking of funny moments with Klaus to keep you smiling.
    Luv & Wirey Hugs,
    Butchy, Snickers, Ruby, Sylvester, Scuby & Mama

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