The case Aubry referred to was Aunt Do’s casket, closed (thank goodness) and resting atop a whatever the piece of furniture it is that caskets rest on. The blue casket (Aunt Do’s favorite color) was decorated with a shawl of lovely fresh cut flowers and pictures of her from throughout her lifetime.
“Aunt Do is in there, Honey. Well, her body is,” I said.
“Can you open it up?”
“Can someone else get it open, Mommy? I want to see her.”
Of course Aubry wanted to see her. I did not. “No. You can’t see her. Just remember her as she was.”
“Why is she in that case?”
Aubry wasn’t about to let it go. I began to explain general burial customs and was interrupted by the start of the service. Aubry sat on my lap, pondering why a dead body goes into a case. She understood more later when the casket was lowered into the ground at the gravesite.
“Oh, the case keeps her clean, Mommy. Right?”
“Yes, honey. Something like that.”
Aubry went over to check out the new digs. Aunt Do would have appreciated her great niece’s concerns.