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I watch as the ashes move from the clay pot to my forehead.

A few fall down on my face, on my nose, onto the chancel rail where my hands are clasped in a sort of prayer.

How do you pray when you know all too real that to ashes we all return?

ashes to ashes

dust to dust

How do I explain to Hank and Lucy that what is behind the stone with Jack’s name in The Garden are ashes? How can a child understand that a living breathing living person can become the stuff of liturgy, that stains the forehead and the heart, and is swept away….but never really gone?

How can a child understand?

How can a mother?

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