I put a blue sticky note on it so the movers wouldn't pack it. I carefully carried it to the car, hefting its astonishing weight, and placed it gently in the back seat.
Alone for a few moments at the new place, I picked it up again, and carried it close to my body up to the new bedroom and found its new spot where it snugly fits. I closed the door to the closet, pressed my hand against the door and then my forehead, breathed in...out. I sent it thoughts. Gratitude, disbelief, anger and a remnant of the shock I felt in every cell that day three years ago.
Memories flashed through my mind, a succession of snapshots. Our first apartment together, our second and third apartments too, and then finally our house. Our beautiful country house. The house I came home to without him. The house he labored over and loved. The house his ashes, in this oaken box, came home to several days later. His carbon, his bone fragments, in a plastic bag which is tucked into a heavy wooden box: hard, and cold to touch and unreasonably heavy.
My last thought as I made this strange moment into a small ceremony to honor him and us and our great loss, was that it was time for even his ashes to be free.
It is time.
No longer trapped in a box but back to the earth where they belong.
I don't need them to feel closer to him anymore.
They don't feel imbued with as much power. They are inert to me now. He is not there, in that box. He is securely in my memories and my heart.
There's no grasping anymore. He had to go on in a place where I can't be. Our paths split on that day.
Those ashes in that box do not bring me closer to him. My heart does. And it always will.