If we don't savor and cherish the joyful moments of our lives, we have no justification in mourning for our loses. Oh sure, this is good, but something bad will happen later. Might as well say, Yes this is sad, but I'll be happy later. It's not a zero sum game. It's not about keeping score. There is no logic to it. Life is greater than the sum of its moments. The meaning of life is the meaning we bring to it. A morbid and melancholy temperament will draw an utterly opposite meaning from the same event as would a brighter soul.
There is much that will remain unsaid. Some truths I would write only under the guise of fiction. But there was a question as to whether or not Monty will have a memorial service. There will be one, even if I'm the only one there. We are a strange tribe, but there is common decency, and it is simply not civilized to allow a life to evaporate with hardly any notice at all. Some people die softly, but this does not mean their lives have been invisible.
I have no authority to speak to the disposition of Monty's remains. I would cremate, but his body has been donated to science. My mother has provided that the same should be done with her body. This is a wish that will not be honored. Med students have enough bodies to dissect, and if they don't, that's not my lookout -- I consider that my duty lies elsewhere. I'm not sentimental, but the thought of my loved ones' bloating cold corpses spread casually on some stainless steel tabletop while prodding grad students chitchat about this and that -- I'm not going to have it. My expectation is that she made such plans to avoid fuss. I, barely equipped to handle the bother of daily life, will yet summon the fortitude to telephone a funeral director and end up with at least the monument of an urn. Ashes are for scattering to the wind. Ashes, not lives.