â€œSo does that mean you want to be cremated?â€
â€œWell, thatâ€™s what Daddy wants, so I guess.â€ She doesnâ€™t seem sure, but doesnâ€™t seems to feel strongly about it either. Apparently, some of her friends already have plots paid for. Even if youâ€™re cremated, you need a permanent place to hang out, and apparently, like all New York City-area real estate, it is increasingly expensive and scarce. â€œIt could cost $6,000!â€ She was having palpitations, I could tell.
â€œListen, Iâ€™ll keep you in my closet and I will only charge you a nominal storage fee.â€
â€œBut then I would haunt you!â€
I donâ€™t take that seriously, but I did suddenly get an image of her standing over my bed while Iâ€™m sleeping, chanting â€œwhy didnâ€™t you go to law school,â€ or “you need to lose weight,” or some such sentiment.
â€œWhat if [FIRST SON] wants to visit? Should I stay in Brooklyn?â€
â€œWell, anywhere where the dead hang out doesnâ€™t really seem convenient, you know. They are kind of low-priority in terms of public transportation paths.â€ I thought about it. â€œIs there place you like? What if I scattered you in the ocean?â€
â€œNo,â€ she shuddered. â€œKoreans donâ€™t like that, and itâ€™s bad for the earth.â€
So at my motherâ€™s request, I began to research what people do with ashes. Everything is much more convenient to find out with the Internet. As she noted, you canâ€™t just scatter ashes whereever you feel like it. Apparently, it is totally eroding the earth. At Jane Austenâ€™s house, so many people attempt to dump their relatives and friends there, security is on the lookout for people opening up canisters. But what I thought was most interesting in my search of what-to-do-with-ashes is that thereâ€™s like a whole arts and crafts movement (ridiculous). You can mix ashes into concrete and make a sculpture, you can turn ashes into jewelry, and best of all, you can press them into a record that can actually play a song.
(Uh huh, the last one, I totally freaked myself out, like what if I pressed my momâ€™s ashes into â€œWhatâ€™s Love Got to Do With Itâ€ by Tina Turner and â€œ1999â€ by Prince came on instead? I am seriously giving myself willies just imagining this.)
Anyway, Mom did not go for the record option, so Iâ€™m safe for now, though without a plan or a plot reservation.