This little micro story speaks for itself.
Tamma was a very special person who left us too soon.
Just some notes
It was a paper box that could have held a new router or portable clock radio. There was a wall of these boxes all the same size, as if one size fits all: a sumo wrestler or ballerina. On the cover of his box was an envelope addressed to the Memorial Company (Levitt-Weinstein) and the Certificate of Cremation for Tamma, done up like a prize. Inside the envelope another card Permit No. 422 signed by the Crematory.
He didn’t want to open the box and didn’t want to deal with the contents until he had thought it through, but then it was Tamma and he could imagine her saying: “What the hell is your problem?…Do this now! I’m not staying on the floor in your shitty filthy car. Put me in the ocean.”
So he thought about where. Was there a boardwalk so the ashes wouldn’t blow back on the beach? Did it matter? Were there rules about this stuff? Should he wait until it was dark? Say a special prayer?
He ended up on the beach in Delray by a restaurant called Luna Rosa because she loved to go there and they had spent most of their Florida time in Delray. It was raining now and so he just grabbed the box and dashed to the water and sat down on the sand and opened the box. He pulled out the clear, heavy plastic bag and dropped it in the sand between his legs.
The stuff inside (Tamma stuff) looked just like the sand but not as fine. It didn’t look like ashes.
And then there was this plastic brad holding the bag together that clearly required a tool to safely remove. He could imagine a frustrated mourner just heaving the bag directly in the water or tearing the bag and having the ashes blow everywhere. So he worked the tab up the bag using his fingers like a needlenose pliers and somehow got it off.
He put his hand in the bag and let the ashes fall through his fingers. Inside the bag was a metal coin stamped ABCO Crematory 30336. With the bag open he walked into the ocean up to about his waist. He forgot that his wallet was still in his jeans. He let the ashes fall into a kind of milky cover, like creamer in your coffee.
He was alone with her.
She was not drunk.
No rabbi, no body in a box, no family.
Only one mourner.