She took the urn inside with her and placed it on the kitchen draining board. She unscrewed the lid and poured some of the contents into a saucer and examined them, poking them around with a knife like a forensic technician. It was gritty, more like clinker than ash, and Louise half-expected to see a bit of tooth, a recognizable bone. Toxic waste. Perhaps if she added water to the saucer, her mother would be resurrected, the clay re-formed from the dust. Her moth-wing lungs might reinflate and she would rise like a genie from the urn and sit opposite Louise at the too-small kitchen table in the too-small kitchen and tell Louise how sorry she was for all the bad things she'd done. And Louise would say, "Too fucking late, get back in your urn."
--Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn