Ella stared at the white alabaster urn the funeral director had given her. It was hard to believe that Grandma had become nothing more than a pile of white ashes. She longed to feel her grandma’s thick arms around her and to smell her sweet perfume that hung in the air like an August fog. How does a cream-puff-of-a-lady become a bag of brittle bones? she wondered.
Cancer. That evil C word. The word she had lived with for almost a year. The evil thing that had devoured Grandma like a vulture devours a dead carcass, gorging itself until its crop bulges and leaving nothing but splintered bones behind.
It was so unfair, Ella thought. Grandma Dorothy was all she had. And now her beloved Dorothy was gone, off to an Emerald City from which she would never return. And Ella was left with nothing but the damn alabaster urn Grandma had picked out before she died. Picked out like everything else.
The hymns that would be sung.
The biblical passages that would be read.
Christ, even the flowers that would sit beside the urn on the pedestal table.
She picked everything out like it was some damn picnic, and Ella hated her for it.