The package arrived. It was clearly marked, “cremated remains” (actually with six labels!)
I am pretty sure the mailman was very much ready to not have this in his possession another day. I said, ‘Thank you” and gingerly carried it inside and stared at it for a while before calling Josh’s sister to experience the box opening with me.
Now, the box inside the box sits on my kitchen table with the label, “Mr. Joshua Paul Brown.” Weird. What do I do with this?
To my own surprise - tears haven't flowed today. It just seems all-around strange and surreal. The Bible verse about returning to dust, Ephesians 3:20 comes to mind. “All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.”
And I think, so this is it. This is what remains. Huh.
While this is quite sad, even as it is, for me it would be feel much more deflating without the hope I have that there is an eternity. The hope that Jesus is real, that Josh is in heaven in some form or fashion, and that there is, indeed more to the story than what is inside this dense black box.
Of course, today still was another significant milestone. It didn't feel like a victory but more of a “It is what it is” moment.
The timing of the delivery and the crazy amount of orange labels indicating what was inside the box did give me a bit of a chuckle I have to say - and I think Josh would have been entertained by it. I could hear him saying, "You know what this box really needs .... an oversized label that says..." - ha!
It is these memories of Josh - especially his sarcastic sense of humor and imagining what he would have said that helped me process the day. Even with elevated weirdness, I find rest in a root of thanksgiving for the many great years of laughter, jokes, adventure and doing life together.
So yes, at the end of the day - it's a lot more than a black box.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.