Saturday, February 12, 2005

9. After college

(Although I haven't been posting every day, I've been writing other things that didn't seem to fit here. So this exercise seems to be doing its job.)

Despite trying to ignore it, I was confronted with the need for Jewish ritual the year after I graduated from college. My mother died. In a fog of grief and not really sure why I had to make this decision, I was asked to choose a casket. A simple pine box was traditional, they told me. But the pine box looked forlorn and naked in the showroom next to the fancy, polished ones; it didn't seem to go with my mother's outfits of perfectly-matched pantsuits and colorful scarfs. I picked a simple, elegant dark cherry one, which I imagined would set off her white hair quite well. Of course I knew this made no sense, but it seemed more significant than going with an ugly pine box just for the sake of following rules.

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