"What's in here?" My daughter has pulled down an ornate brass container the size of a plum from our entryway shelf. I look up and see what she has. I'm exhausted and ready for a hot shower and bed. She holds the vessel, looking at me, waiting.
"That, Boo, is your brother. The ashes."
My daughter looks at it. She asks if we can open it.
"No, Hon," I say. "That is not for opening."
She chews her lip. She looks at the photo next to the urn, of Alex, his hand draped across my pinky finger. She asks if it's her brother. I look at the photo and back at her. "Yes," I say, "it is." I tell her to hold onto my pinky. "See how big your hand is? Look how small his hand is. Tiny."