It started back in March of this year with A Rare Request for a cremation service. Our crematorium hadn’t been used for several years and was in disrepair… but the request was from a desperate mother whose daughter had just committed suicide by hanging and no one else wanted any part of her cremation for fear of vengeance from the departed spirit. I woke some of the guys and we got the oven ready… fortunately the crematorium still worked but it was obvious that repairs had to be made before doing any more.
The following week we cleaned up the area around the burner and rearranged the rooms just in case we received another request at some point in the future. We didn’t have to wait long… in the first part of May, we got a call that someone had died from COVID-19 and no one wanted to do the cremation for fear of catching the Virus. I told them we would do it as a temporary solution to their problem but had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
Nearly every day since then, and sometimes two or three times in one day, the ambulances would come with bodies to be burned… 167 to be exact, before the end of November. Then, just after Thanksgiving Day, another request for cremating a victim of suicide and, as if the cycle had been completed the telephone stopped ringing.
It has been 6 days now since the last cremation and I am beginning to enjoy myself again. Working in the garden, cleaning the swimming pool, thinking about taking some days off on the coast, maybe even doing an excursion with the kids… and just letting the flames die out. It has been a long stretch and I am happy that is finally coming…
“Hello. Yes, we can do it. How soon before the body gets here?”
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