READER NOTE: This post was originally posted on my Life In The Big Cedars blog Jan. 30 2012. Since I’ve decided to separate my writing posts and keep this site as my writing/author/blogging site and the other site as my online family journal, I’ll be re-posting until I get caught up. Thanks for stopping by!
I made it a point to visit several cemeteries this past year. I visited them not to pay respects to friends and relatives lost, but as research for my novel. It is, of course, mostly about reapers. The grim kind. Graveyards were an inevitable setting. So, I started paying a lot more attention to cemeteries and how they were laid out. I took time to drive through many cemeteries while I was out on my regular travels to get the feel of things.
Cemeteries are a place that I don’t normally pay all that much attention to. Like churches and Chinese restaurants, you don’t realize how many there actually are until you finally start noticing them. There is one on every corner.
I finally drove through Springfield National Cemetery for example. How many times have you driven by that one? It was huge and pretty cool.
As a rule, I don’t really dig cemeteries. No pun intended. I don’t go to decorate graves on Memorial Day or Christmas. I figure the dead aren’t keeping a tally of visitors. Surely, they have better things to do now. With that in mind, I really don’t see the point of visiting cemeteries. I know which cemeteries my grandparents and even some friends now are in, but I couldn’t even lead you to their graves.
My own mother knows I will not likely visit her grave when she’s passed. In fact, she knows me so well that she’s already purchased her stone and had it engraved with an etching of a vase full of flowers. Smart lady.
The whole idea of a cemetery is really sort of crazy to me. And wasteful. What’s the point of putting all that non-biodegradable steel, various metals and material into the ground to house your absolutely biodegradable husk?
Why can’t we just wrap up our dead in a blanket and bury them? Sure there is disease to consider, but not if we cremate everyone. If you don’t want to be cremated for whatever reason, religious or personal then let’s just have one big depository. What’s the big deal? You are DEAD. You aren’t going to care.
There are even rules as to where your ashes can be spread … if you are stupid enough to ask for permission. Seriously, just cremate me, carry me home in a Folgers can, scatter the ashes in the backyard somewhere, have a party and move on. It’s done. I don’t care anymore. Besides, I don’t want people looking at me when I’m dead. My hair will look stupid and … well, I’ll be DEAD.
I definitely want to be scattered and the ashes disseminated. I do not want my remains plopped up on a mantle or entertainment center or bookcase somewhere because you KNOW at some point the cat is going to knock that sucker off, and I’m going to end up in the Hoover. As resting places go, the Hoover is NOT on the list. I do care about that.
Funerals in general are depressing occasions. I don’t want one. It messes up everyone’s day, they have to leave work, find babysitters, dress up in uncomfortable clothes and be all sober and stuff. I’m dead. It’s sad. I was a wonderful and fantastic human being. Better each time you remember me. I’ll be missed. Have a party, wear what you want, sell or giveaway my crap and move on.
Really, there are too many of us on this planet already. If we keep burying everyone, eventually we are going to have to start doubling up in the cemeteries anyway. The Vikings had the right idea, put the body on a wooden boat, light that pyre on fire and give it a push. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Still seems like a good plan to me. You can even roast weannies and marshmallows for the after party.