The soul had slipped out of our world. The eyes were a lifeless ocean blue. Anthony Hughes was once a renowned classical violinist. His wife Jamie wasn’t crazy about the idea of him writing cremation into his will, but Anthony was a man who enjoyed giving back to the world in any way he could. Although music was always been Anthony’s passion, he had felt that he just wasn’t giving humanity enough by simply massaging the aural lobe of the brain. Whenever he had the chance, he donated as much as he could afford, played charity gigs, helped his neighbors with anything they may have needed, and even lectured bums and derelicts to the point of annoying them. Anthony was the definition of an upright citizen, so naturally he felt he needed to be cremated. He was a Democrat after all, and truly believed in doing his part for his country.
Jamie is a little more reserved with aiding the rest of humanity. She greatly admired her husband’s selfless heart and supported him as much as she could, but knew how some people like to take advantage. As a financial consultant, she often sees the true, dark greed that most people have deep down. She has dealt with an elderly couple inquiring about how to leave the majority of the nest egg to their darling potbelly pig, instead of helping out three generations of struggling children for fear that they may become “spoiled brat liberals, always expecting a handout.” Jamie strongly believes in keeping family on their feet, but couldn’t completely discredit the couple’s political views. She feels the government is all take and no give to those who work hard for a living. Sure, there are measly tax deductions, but hard-working citizens are paying half their incomes to fund government programs in which they themselves have no say. She and Anthony had learned to agree to disagree on political points for fear that it may come between their intense love for each other. But even Jamie’s love couldn’t comfort her with handing over his body, the body that she had fawned over for the past thirty-three years, to the United States government.
“I believe in this new process, dear,” Anthony had said to many of Jamie’s misgivings during the course of his lengthy illness. “They can use the human body to fuel turbines and power the entire city. Do you know how many people that could help? Newborn babies in incubators, people struggling to breathe on respirators, Families who need to heat their homes to keep their children from crying in the cold. I’m getting too old and run-down to be of any other use. This is how I choose to serve my beloved country. I’ll be done with my body, anyways.”
From the time they were married, Jamie had always assumed she and Anthony would be placed in the family burial plot when the time came, side by side for all eternity, but even the cemeteries were being ravaged now. She wished she could hire a guard to protect the graves of her parents, but knew she wouldn’t be around forever to pay them, and it would cost a fortune. Only celebrities and the wealthy could afford that luxury. There were constant reports of theft in the news involving bodies being sold on the black market to crooked funeral homes. The government instated a policy of requiring ID tags, but that was useless with criminals desecrating bodies to remove them. “The government will never be able to respect all of its citizens,” Jamie had always retorted to Anthony. It was bad enough that she now had to live without him; if only she could at least get his ashes back. It would take a long, expensive bureaucratic process that Jamie just couldn’t afford, especially after paying Anthony’s medical bills. She would just have to get used to living without any earthly part of her husband anymore. She had cherished his body during their time together. Even in his illness, she would hold his hands and admire his beautiful freckles. His whiskers would caress her chin when she gave him a kiss. As tears appeared on her cheeks, she realized she would have to look for his comfort in another way, and hope he could still keep her sane even in death.