I was raised by Irish Catholics. Even as I write that it sounds a
little like "wolves" or some especially feral class of creature. I don't
mean this in the nativist sense of brutish hordes, but in the sense of
sure faith and fierce family loyalties, the pack dynamics of their
clannishness, their vigilance and pride.
"When I’m gone just cremate me,” Hughey MacSwiggan told his third and final wife as she stood at his bedside while the hospice nurse fiddled with the morphine drip that hadn’t kept his pain at bay. The operative word in his directive was just. He wasn’t especially fond of fire. He hadn’t picked out a favorite urn. He saw burning not so much as an alternative to burial as an alternative to bother. He just wanted it all to be over.