Things are not always what they seem. Entry 5

Continued from ... Entry 3

A, is tiny, pretty. What to make of her? I have heard such awful things. She is possessed of the devil from "up country". Her mother wailing and wringing her hands, stops me in my grief and I almost laugh. What is wrong with me? She appears to be about 90, frail, stooped over, and having only one eye. How could she have given birth to A only 27 years ago? I take 2 of Josh shirts careful to not alienate A, I ask for his rings, she has two glass bowls full of the silver rings Josh liked to collect. She hands me 2. The rest are "for baby". I look around the tiny 3 bedroom house and see Josh's music room. He has a vast collection of many hundreds of albums, thousands? We leave with a promise to come back the next day and head for the hospital. I cannot remember who we went with? Julie, Tarn? I see my son in his brown linen sport jacket and a white shirt. It is insufferably hot and humid and I want to redress him. His eyes are closed and sunken and I wish I had not insisted on seeing him. He is in a better place and I thank the mortician for caring for my son in death.

We have a short time to get ready and then we go to the Temple to see the monks and to pray for Josh to have safe entry into heaven before his cremation. The casket is magnificent; red, gold and bejeweled. I can't believe they are going to burn it, and they don't. It is taken to the pyre and Josh is taken out the back of the casket and then into the crematorium. The ceremony is long and 33 Monks chanting for my son levels me. A is clinging to me. Lady Boy is holding Christian. Tarn is there wearing a stunning black dress with a gold flower holding up one shoulder. She tells me Josh bought it for her. I am wearing a white skirt and Josh's white linen shirt. I am told that older Monk-in-charge has allowed for me to say something. Apparently this is not done, but I am grateful and so I read aloud, "When Tomorrow Starts without Me", written by David M. Romano and published in Proof of Heaven.

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I am confused and think the cremation is today. Actually it is tomorrow so back we go to the hotel and prepare for another service and the cremation early in the morning. I could spend every day at the temple it is so peaceful and I feel so at one with Josh. .
We spend a lot of time at the resort. It could not be more relaxing. I usually get up early, drink Thai coffee, jump in pool, sob under water, come up, read, then think about Josh and this totally hedonistic life he lived. Mia: "Mom he lived a life some of us only dream about". Today is the day of cremation. We go back to temple and many, many friends of Josh are there. I cannot bear looking at Josh again so I ask Nat, I think, to put a pic of his dad in the coffin he will be burned in. And a picture of the baby, just in case, I think, this little guy is Josh's son. Someone has placed sunglasses on Josh; he was never without his sunglasses. He must have had 20 or 30 pair. And someone unbuttoned his shirt collar. That touched me.

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Some of his friends have gathered us up to take us out to lunch. Add, Dodo, couple of other people. Still no Tarn. Does she not like me?
Over lunch I make sure Dodo gets one of Josh's Vespas, as per a sloppily executed hand written "will" we find at Josh's house: BIG mistake. Dodo is a fast talking Frenchman who has very big ideas and opinions and in my limited time in Phuket, I think he loves Josh and wants only the best for him. I come to find out Dodo stole vast sums of money from Josh, and when Josh had no more money, Josh gave him a Vespa, all the while thinking Dodo was helping him in various business dealings. I am beginning to realize that here in Phuket, things are not what they seem.

To be continued....