The time I decided whether to be buried or cremated

*Originally posted on my other blog.*

The beaches in northern California are not usually warm. It’s usually a sunny day and you think, today would be an awesome day to go to the beach. When you finally arrive, it’s foggy, possibly windy, and the water is freezing. But if you’re lucky, you’ll be there on a day when every few minutes or so, the clouds will part and you’ll feel the sun’s warm rays on your skin.

On a Sunday like this, my parents, my brother, and I headed out to the beach. We walked along the water, feeling the cold, wet sand between our toes, commenting on all the cute dogs, and catching Pokemon (I caught a Datrini!).

My brother and I were having a separate conversation when my dad said, “We need to figure out where we’re going to bury your mom because she decided she wants to be buried.”

We had never spoken about whether we would like to be buried or cremated, but I figured it was a beautiful peaceful day, the setting was nice, and I suppose it was a good time to discuss it.

I thought about what I would want. Both of my grandfathers were buried. The thought of being in a box always gave me the creeps, though. When I was a kid I hated going down those slides that resemble tubes. I was afraid of getting stuck in there, losing oxygen, and slowly but surely suffocating to death.

I thought about death a lot when I was a kid. Mostly about all the different ways in which I or the entire human race would eventually die or be killed. That’s normal, right?

So, having my body be forever enclosed in a small box underground never sounded appealing to me. Then again, setting my body on fire didn’t sound very good either.

A lot of people have their ashes scattered across the ocean, but that wouldn’t be an option for me because I’m afraid of drowning, so that would actually be my worst nightmare. I could have my ashes mixed in with dirt and grow into an avocado tree. I do love avocados. But, what if I make the avocados taste gross? I don’t want to be held responsible for nasty-tasting avocados.

I actually looked up ways to scatter ashes and I found an interesting one that says you can send them up to SPACE and it’s only about $2,000, OH MY GOD! This is it. This is what I want. I want to be floating around in space, orbiting the Earth, like hey guys how’s it goin’ down there? I’ll have the most amazing view and maybe I’ll even see some aliens because they totally exist. My loved ones will be able to look up at the sky and truly say that I’m up there looking down on them. People will say I’m sure she is and give their condolences with soft nods and pats on the back, but my family will be like no, like she’s literally up there.

Fun fact: when I was in third grade, I really wanted to be an astronaut, but as I grew older and actually took an astronomy class, I realized there was a lot of math involved, which was a huge problem since I suck at math.

So, that lovely Sunday had taken an odd turn, but we still hadn’t answered my mom’s question: where would she be buried? It made sense for my parents to want to be buried in Mexico where they grew up and where they could join the rest of the family, but what about us? My siblings and I grew up in California and will most likely stay here. Does this mean we’ll all be separated?

“Jeez, that’s a little dark, but I guess we should discuss it,” I said to my brother as we continued our walk on the beach.

“What are you talking about?” he asked.

“Whether we would want to be cremated or buried. I think I might want to be cremated.”

“What the hell?” He looked at me like I was crazy (which is actually quite normal because I get a lot of those looks). “She means buried in the sand because we’re at the beach!”

I would still like to be sent up to into space…

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