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54 of 365

She clutched the urn with his remains. Graveyards gave her the spooks. She didn’t want to visit them every time she missed him. She couldn’t bury him next to Dash in their backyard. That must definitely be some violation of the law. Doggy burial grounds at home are common, but humans seemed unheard of. With no choice left, she cremated him. She would keep the urn on the living room shelf. Would visitors refrain from coming over because of this, she thought. But she couldn’t be bothered by this. She had lost her husband of 50 years just day before yesterday. If she wanted his ashes inside her house, she should be indulged.

They had married in their early twenties and been together ever since. Old age had broken him bit by bit before finally taking his life. For several hours as she sat next to his body in the hospital, she debated ending her own life. They never had any children and had spent most of their lives entertaining the other. She couldn’t imagine living at home without him. Who would leave the toilet seat up repeatedly? Who would make her delicious coffee and scones? Who would fall asleep reading the newspaper in the rocking chair? Who would she look after now that he was gone?

She debated adopting another dog. Living alone would make her very lonely but she was far too old to chase after a dog. And god forbid she died soon, the dog would be left without a home. Should she get a cat, she wondered. Finally, she set the urn down on the shelf and wished him goodnight before leaving the room.

She lay awake for hours together that night. It was her first night alone; it was bound to be restless. She ached to hear his gentle yet terrible cough. She sat up in bed before walking into the front room and returning with the urn. She placed the urn on her bedside table next to her bottle of water.

She felt an emptiness but she was yet to shed a tear. Even while she delivered his eulogy, her eyes were dry. His memories would keep her company always; just like the void she felt.

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