We don’t see dead people

The problem with the TSA is they don’t recognize a dead person when they see one.

Granted, he was cremated, but I’m pretty sure TSA training should include both forms of dead.

Regular and sprinkle.

Last summer, I flew to Ireland to spread some of my husband’s remains in the River Slaney, his childhood fishing hole. It is a horribly surreal experience flying with your husband’s remains in your carry-on.

At the very least you’re hesitant to reach for your bareMinerals powder to touch up at the end of the flight.

Perhaps, because of the enormity of what I was doing, all I really wanted was for someone to acknowledge my pilgrimage.

Pull me aside in the line.

Tell me they were sorry for our loss.

Give me a hug.

Put my shoes back on for me after security.



it turns out a body can go through not one, but TWO, major airports completely undetected.

I found it strange I couldn’t bring more than 3.4 ounces of liquid on-board, for fear of what? I would randomly start spritzing people mid-flight? But 10 or so ounces of dead husband gets an ‘all-clear?’

There was a glimmer of hope when my bag was scanned in the second airport.

A pensive look on the agent’s face.

A sideways cock of the head.

A finger pointing to the screen.

Me! Me! Me! I wanted to shout. That’s my bag. And, yes, that is my…

Instead, they opened up the bag right after mine, the one with the anatomically warped doll, and we were sent on our way to obsess over female proportions, without as much as a foot rub.

And that was it!

That was my last chance before boarding to let everyone know that my husband of nearly 20 years was propped up next to my laptop in my carry-on, and, YES, I was having some issues with it!

Fortunately, this was a flight to Ireland, so drinking was available, and I could at least sit back and remind myself that this was what Richard wanted. I was doing this for him.

And on the actual day, when we stood along the edge of the river and scattered his ashes, and tears came faster than breaths, I knew this was the right thing. The river welcomed him with such peace and serenity that it felt cosmically staged.

It turns out, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.






  • Angi
    March 24, 2016

    Thanks for this one! Going to share this with my sister who is going to be traveling with her “sprinkle” husband to Key West this summer.

  • Stephanie Dolgoff
    March 25, 2016

    You have a wonderful way of taking the absurdities of what we go through and making them funny, even when they are anything but. Because you find the humor in even this, you’re helping a lot of people.

    • rampersl123
      March 26, 2016

      Thank you so much. I try! Maybe it’s a false coping mechanism but it helps me!

  • Kristen
    March 28, 2016

    I’m so sorry for the unfortunate circumstances that lead you to write this blog, Louise, but SO appreciate your ability to find humor within the sadness. I’m sure Richard is LOLing right along with you! I hope you keep sharing these funny and poignant observations with us.

    • rampersl123
      March 29, 2016

      Thanks, Kristen! Thanks for reading!

  • Amber
    April 14, 2016

    My mother and I will be going through a similar experience next month. My stepfather passed away December of 2015 and we are spreading his ashes on Long Island, NY in May. It’s something i’m not looking forward to. Great article 🙂

    • rampersl123
      April 15, 2016

      Sorry for the journey you’re on. I hope you find some peace along the way!

  • Jamie M
    April 15, 2016

    I can so relate to your “ashes” story except for me it was my father (a different set of emotions, I know). I hadn’t really planned things out for the transport back home. Not having a proper urn ready, I was temporarily using a ceramic kitchen canister. …the kind with a clamp on top. I wrapped it up in my daughter’s baby blanket to protect it and basically just stuffed it into her bright pink “my little ponies ” backpack carry-on. I was in a mournful daze, mostly focused on our two toddlers, with car seats. .all that comes with traveling with small children. My husband went ahead of me through airport security, with the kids in between us. As I stumbled through the security line the agent held up the cannister and asked “whatcha got in here? ” I just spontaneously replied in an oddly monotone voice, “My father.” And then I made some sort of weird , out of left field giggle. After an awkward pause. ..the kind that you feel you are the only one able to act…..they wrapped it back up, I zipped it back in its place, and walked off as if I was going on to some strange safari. My dad would have laughed his butt off. To this day, I’m convinced he made that giggle come out. Life is so weird, at our saddest times, we can behave in the most unpredictable ways!

    • rampersl123
      April 17, 2016

      Thanks for sharing your story. You’re right! At the saddest times, we really can behave in unpredictable ways. The whole experience was certainly surreal!

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