I picked up Klaus’ remains on Monday afternoon.

I have only now been able to write about it.  Until that moment I felt that Klaus could still pop up on the table, could still somehow still be around.  Even though I know that wasn’t possible, it was still possible.  Now that he has been cremated it is absolutely not possible and that just makes me hurt all over.

I expected that day to be surreal, and I was not disappointed.  A shopping bag awaited me with Klaus’ name attached to the outside.  I stood in the foyer of the funeral home holding my bag from the bottom and not the handles – it was a lot heavier than I thought it would be.  Of course I was afraid that the bag handles would break, sending the cardboard box of cremains (whatta word) crashing to the ground, not with a thud but with a whoosh that sent a tornado of Klaus everywhere.  So I held it from the bottom, not taking any chances on any mischief from beyond.

Yes, they remembered to remove his nipple rings and return those to me.  Yes, everything was handled perfectly and exactly as specified.  I have all of my paperwork save the death certificate which was not ready yet.  That’s for another trip, I suppose.  But yet as I stood there holding the box all I could think of to do (other than not drop it) was to rub the box as if to comfort him.  I walked outside toward my car in the rain and covered the box so Klaus wouldn’t get wet.  I placed him on the passenger seat and buckled the seatbelt around the bag so it wouldn’t fly around.  Safety first!

And then I had things to do.  On top of all that I am dealing with, I have to move.  The house we live in is very large, and very far away from where I work.  It feels very, very cold and quiet without Klaus.  So I have been scouring Craigslist and visiting apartment buildings all over town, sometimes with Bogart (sunny days) sometimes without (hello snow).  When I reached my first destination I had a dilemma – I did not want to keep Klaus on the front seat while I was inside for fear that someone might think he was something to steal, and as we already have one broken window on the Bogcedes I wasn’t willing to risk it.  So I put him in the trunk.  I cannot tell you how much I agonized over that.  It was either take him into the rental office with me or put him in the trunk.  Both a little crazy.  But as I really need to find a place to live, I felt that I just had to go with trunk rather than crazy-crying-lady-carrying-around-her-husband’s-ashes.  Especially as I look the latter part these days.

On the way home I retrieved Klaus from the trunk and put him back on his seat, buckled in.  The ride home from there was uneventful in the sense that I was talking to him, just as I normally would if he were sitting there next to me.  At one point I put my hand out to stroke his leg – something I would do all the time – and felt only cardboard.  Damn.  Damn.  Damn.

My plan is to make a special box for him.  He was too much of an individual to be put into something off-the-rack.  But for now, the square, white box with his name printed on a plain, white label sits on my bedside table.  Just next to the light-up alarm clock that always pissed him off because he said that the light was too bright, and that he would throw a knitted hat over after I had fallen asleep.

I love you Klaus.  Sleep well.

Love,

Lulu

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20 thoughts on “Surreal For Real”

  1. You and Bogart and Klaus are still in my thoughts….daily….one day at a time Lulu…and don’t let anyone’s expectations for you trip you up; you are allowed to feel like you feel like feeling!

  2. We can’t imagine what you must be going through your emotions must be all over the place. But please know that we are thinking of you and sending strength and love.

    Simba and Jazzi xxx and the humans xx

  3. Lulu, we just can’t imagine how awful all of this is, for you! Especially having to find a new place to live and move…on top of every thing else that has happened!

    We hope that having Klaus home, again, with you, will bring you some measure of comfort.

    Aire-hugs,
    Poppy,Penny & Patches

  4. Hi Lulu,
    You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your blog ever since Zoolatry posted a graphic for sending prayers and good thoughts your way. I am so very sorry you lost your love.

    I tried to find a way to send you some food stuff for you to nibble on, but hit a brick wall when I was told you were a vegetarian. I googled restaurants in Portland, but none of them were familiar to me, and I had no idea which were good restaurants or lousy ones. I’m so glad your friends succeeded to find veggie food for you.

    I understand your need to find a special container for Klaus. I had the same dilemma with my parents ashes. What I did was to find a very nice mahogany box and inside I completely covered it with a college of wonderful photos that were happy times for them. I keep it on my bookshelf with all the things I love. Just a thought.

    Please take care of yourself and be sure that other bloggers you’ve never heard of are thinking of you.
    Peggy

  5. After my uncle died last year, my aunt would tell my mom that sometimes she’d talk out loud to him in the house when she was getting ready to buy something for the house, partially cause he hated spending money and she wanted to “explain” why she was doing, but it also helped her (I think). So don’t feel bad if you talk to Klaus or whatever makes you feel better. It’s a way to cope and can bring some comfort. Take care and keep us informed of how you are doing!

    -dannielle

  6. LuLu…we hope you find the pawfect place for you and Bogie to live. Close to your work, a hooooge yard and neighbors as good as the ones we have found in Mayemphis.

    Did we tell you that muzzer found our house on CraigsList? We’ve never met Craig, but we love him.

    We all admire your strength, your willingness to share with us and your open and clear expression of your loss. Oh, and did we say we think you are brave as well as beautiful?

    gussie, teka and muzzer

  7. LuLu, I have been reading your blog since reading about your loss on my sisters blog she is Rockys mama Claudette. I want you to know that strangers are thinking of you and sending loving thoughts your way. AI hope you have had someone close to be by your side during these awful days. My very best to you.
    Sincerely Billie K.

  8. Bogart, you and the kitties have to team up your extraordinary brain powers now and find the best place where you all will be together, and safe for you and your mama to live. Good luck!
    Thinking of you all with love,
    Andy’s mama and papa

  9. Lulu,

    You can’t just stop loving and living WITH that special person in your life, even though he is not here anymore. I know that. Always reaching out to touch, to smell, to hear, talking with him, hoping to see his shadow from the corner of your eye … There is nothing wrong with that. Don’t hold it inside, better talk to Klaus aloud (ok, better when nobody’s around, except for your strong little furry family) and who knows? maybe he’ll hear you from the other side. You have such a beautiful heart, Lulu! I wish you peace and healing. Blessings, Blessings, Blessings!!!

    With a big warm hug,
    Andy’s mama Nata

  10. We are so sorry for all that you are going through. Sending you more comforting purrs. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  11. We could never imagine what you are having to go through right now. I hope you the kitties and Bogart can find a nice place to live that you will be comfortable. Take care!!!!
    Kaos & Hilary

  12. Lulu~
    I’m so glad you continue to update everyone on how you are coping. I completely understand about your dealing with dear Klaus’ ashes. I bought a special necklace online that is made to hold a small amount of “cremains’ (I really hate that word!) So, when I’m especially lonely for my dad…I can take out my necklace and wear him to work! Some people thought I was a little off, but most of my friends recognize my necklace and immediately know how I am feeling that day.
    Peace~
    Diane & Bailey in Ohio

  13. Hi Lulu,
    I don’t know what to say anymore as my heart is breaking. I can’t even begin to imagine how much you are missing Klaus and how simple everyday things will remind you of him.
    I hope you find a nice place your yourself, Bogart and the kitties soon.

    **Big hugs for all **

    Huskee’s Mom

  14. Poor Lulu!
    You so perfectly captured the surreal details of death. I remember the term CREMAINS so well and to this day call Craisins “cremains”. I almost choked with smirking and crying at the same time when the mortician asked me what I wanted to do with my mother’s cremains.

    You are doing a fine job keeping Klaus safe. Yes, he is still hovering about you in spirit and we all know would really hate to be kidnapped and mistaken for a shopping spree on your front seat.

    Please know that there are so many people out here in cyberspace who are sending you all their best mojo that life will go easy on you and treat you with utmost kindness. I’m sure Klaus is seeing to that.

    Pam & Fenway

  15. I am sitting here typing with my mom right beside me and she is all in tears. She wishes she could just give you a hug or something of comfort. Know we have you in our thoughts and prayers always…
    Hugs,
    Sitka

  16. I can’t even begin to understand how you are feeling. Just know we are all here for you with our paws on our hearts thinking of you and praying that you will find a way to cope.
    Ike

  17. Dear Lulu –
    Its too bad that death and dying do not come with an instruction booklet at the outset. Learning the process and Losing your Love simultaneously are just sooo much to bear. 🙁 Many Hugs to you and your furry pals as you begin again.

  18. Our Mom said:

    Lulu,

    Try not to make any rushed or hasty descisions – they do say one should wait for six months after a bereavement. Thank goodness you have Bogart to comfort you. Take care of each other.

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