I brought you home yesterday, but only your ashes are inside the urn.
I think you will like the vessel you’re in. It’s perfectly color-coordinated to match our audio-video cabinet, although I know you would say, “I don’t care.”
You are no longer in this plane of existence, and that makes me miserable. I have moments when I try to speak, but it’s garbled with tears. That’s become my own brand of aphasia, right?
No matter how competent a writer I may be, that won’t bring you back to life. Please know that my grief is shared by your family and close friends in the aphasia community. I share the picture of what remains of you on this website post to substitute for a viewing ceremony in these days of coronavirus.
Please know I continue to practice physical distancing. (I don’t like to say “social distancing,” because there is nothing social about staying 6 feet away from well-meaning friends.) The coroner’s report says your cause of passing was “probable myocardial infarction,” but you looked peaceful when I found you.
I believe your passing was due to the strain of movement caused by ever-increasingly painful arthritis. Well, your hips and legs stopped hurting March 27th, and that makes me glad.
Being physically unavailable to lie naked beside me, though, makes me sad and lonely. Now I must let you go to ease the star journey you earned after this life. You put up with me so patiently, my love.
I hope you like the funeral home that cousin Margaret Johnston researched the day after you passed. Green Hills funeral home and crematorium is located 500 feet up in the hills east of Kelso, Washington. And both Margaret and cousin Carolyn Levin stepped up to pay for the whole shebang.
Also, please know that Kailey Cox drove up here Thursday morning to adopt your plants before they go to ruin. I never had a green thumb, and Kailey wanted to make sure I didn’t give visible testament to a plant cemetery.
I hope you like the reverence the funeral home director, José Nuñez, showed as Margaret and I oversaw the disposition of your physical remains. I kissed your chin at our viewing, but your skin was so cold I realized you were no longer imprisoned in that fragile body. Your slender fingers and expressive hands will no longer hurt you.
Unlike your skin, our love will never grow cold. Alice, I love you. So blessed much.
The picture you saved from one of our aphasia gatherings on the Coast contains the following message from a Chinese fortune cookie: “Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together as they do in you.”
Please accept my tears of grief as a gentle rain, and may each drop bring you peace on your unending journey. Save me a spot, okay?
Members of the Aphasia Network have begun a GoFundMe page to support me during the time ahead. To see their message and hopefully donate, follow this link Alice was amazing