Sunday, August 16, 2009



We went to pick up our Little Man today. The ashes didn't do what I thought they would. Guess there's really nothing except time as they say. Since his passing, we have received so many wonderful messages of comfort from people we hardly know and some we've never met. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You'll all never know how much it meant.

This is ARFROD—A Reasonable Facsimile of Devlin, the little man's ashes (we're looking for the perfect urn), the tag that was on the tasteful forest green shopping bag he came home in and his collar. A fitting tribute to the best damn dog that ever lived, don't you think?

Ashes are strange. You look at the tin and try to imagine it having some sort of personality. Himself actually opened the tin and looked inside. I had to admit out loud I was expecting him to see something recognizable. Silly.

I had a boss a few years back that wasn't a tyrant. She was one of us which is why the corporate world didn't get along with her all that well. She has that spirit that attracts people. Always up, always happy and always willing to look at things in a different way.

When her husband passed away, far too early, not only had they planned the funeral together before he died, they decided it would be a joyful occasion. Long story short, no one seemed pleased with the atmosphere, in fact some folks seemed downright uncomfortable. She had his favorite music playing, a jazz number straight out of New Orleans, his favorite shoes sitting jauntily on top of the coffin and lots of great anecdotes that had filled their lives with joy.

A few months after the funeral I got a phone call from her. Oh, I thought, she's having a bad time. Just get it out, I said hoping to be of some help, knowing I couldn't. She tried to speak in between sobs but it wasn't long before I realized she was laughing and not crying! I couldn't believe it. I was glad she was laughing but I couldn't imagine at what.

"It's John!" she croaked between racking sobs of laughter. "He's.... he's..."
"It's John! He...he's in..."
"What? What's wrong??? What about John?"
Finally she managed to squeak out..
"He's in the DUST BUSTER!!"

I lost it, again, and the two of us laughed until we cried. When we regained some composure, she explained she had been transferring John's ashes to the brand new, expensive, one of a kind urn she had taken great care in choosing and purchasing, when it slipped out of her hand and her late husband ashes spilled out and ended up embedded in the beautiful, deep pile, wedgewood blue carpet on the bedroom floor.

There was no retrieving them without suction of some sort. She could only gather the ashes with a dust buster, at which time she completely lost it and considered it was his way of telling her he preferred causal instead of high end. And there he rests to this very day.


  1. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...or in this case, ashes to dust buster...another great story, Suz. I'm glad you're able to find joy as you deal with the emotions associated with your loss. Laughter is indeed the best medicine. A heartfelt Vegas hug... -Don

  2. Well, you guys are one step further down the grieving chain. I hope Sweet Devin will by laid to rest soon. Do not vacuum during this time!

    LOL and the Dust Buster story! Oh my.
    That's a doozie!

  3. Wow...thanks for the funny story this morning. I needed the laugh. I remember bringing home our beautiful girl in a little wooden you, I really didn't know what to expect but it is comforting to have her close. I will definitely keep her away from the dust buster....what a fantastic story! Your old boss has a wonderful sense of humor. Chris

  4. Oh, my. What a great story! I'm glad Devlin is back home. It's also nice to hear that he has been cared for with such respect. A truly fitting tribute. Oh, and ARFOD is adorable.

  5. Suzanne!

    Keep on keepin' on, as the saying goes.

    Your former boss sounded like a great lady and a rarity.

    I don't know many people that could openly celebrate a person's life instead of their passing. She clearly had a sense of humor and a strong inner faith. *slaps hand to forehead after reading the dustbuster part!*

    I know when our family dog died (it'll be three years next month) we decided to bury him in the backyard instead of cremation.

    He was a guard dog after all and it just seemed right.

    You'll never forget the impact Devlin had on your life but the mourning period will lose its intensity with time.

    Best wishes!


  6. What an awesome story. Thank you for sharing it all.

    I have my dear cat Halfie's ashes still in the little box they came in. They're still sitting on a shelf. I honestly think I want them buried with me. Our last cat that died, my sweet Roshi, we scattered his ashes across our front lawn where he used to hang out a lot, and also (after asking permission) on the neighbor's lawn, where he also used to hang out.

  7. Suzanne I love this post. It did make me laugh. Thanks I needed that


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