My Father, Ladies and Gentlemen.

One More Trip…

Laura D. Brown
9 min readJan 29, 2024

I left the funeral home carrying a box that included a folded American flag, a Kelly green urn, a necklace to put ashes in, and many prayer cards. I secured the urn in my sporty Honda Civic. I giggled at the absurdity as I buckled in my father’s remains. Who was I protecting? Myself, mostly. My older sister had given me only one job. If I fucked this up, she would explode, as she was on her last inch of patience. My sister had controlled every aspect of the previous four weeks. Why did I even care enough to offer my help? Why did I even want a job in the mess that was my father’s life and death? Was I simply attempting to claim him for my small part in his life? Biologically, he was my father, but the title never fit the man. Did I know this urn any more than the man in the box beside it?

I had to stop at Wegmans on the way home from the funeral home. I hysterically laughed as I realized I was taking my father, or what remained of him, on his last trip to one of his favorite grocery stores. Through tears, I said, “Okay, Dad, we are going to Wegmans.” My grief ears heard his loud, rumbling laugh from the passenger side. We shared one final joke about his penchant for the Wegman’s shopping experience.

Typically, I had hoped to avoid a run-in with him when going to Wegmans for a weekly shopping trip. Sometimes, I would hear his deep voice before I saw him. In that case, I would maneuver to…