SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

Cemetery

I don’t do cemeteries

A while ago when I was writing a post about Mr. French I made a comment that I don’t do cemeteries, I prefer the memories instead.

I was curious why I had such strong feelings and I’m pretty sure it dates back to my senior year in high-school when my great-aunt Dot died.

She was my grandmother’s older sister. Kind of mean to everyone but me. Truth, I swear. Accused everyone of thievery, except me and would only share her special vodka with one other person.

That would be me.

vodka 3

 

I don’t do open caskets

I’m not sure if it was my 18 year old self sipping vodka with his great-aunt or me being the only she liked. Whatever it was the day of her funeral when my grandmother reached inside the casket and placed her sister’s hand on mine my attitude towards cemeteries took a huge nose dive.

Not to mention it really creeped me out.

I grew up in a home where cemeteries were a big deal. All of my relatives bought plots long before they were sick.

tug o war

There would be battles over prime spots. A section near the oak tree, a spot near the little hill overlooking a beautiful meadow and anywhere far away from mean old Irv.

Trust me. The guy was a head case.

When I was little the arguments made sense. As far as I was concerned we didn’t actually die, we just lived underground.

But I grew a little older and a little wiser and it didn’t take long for me to realize that cemetery plot preparation just wasn’t my thing.

 

Money Well Spent

When I entered my 20’s and my debt increased I couldn’t believe my eyes when I discovered the cash I could receive if I sold my plot. In one swift move my plot was sold, my debt erased and my grandmother and I were not on speaking terms.

On rare occasions I will go to a cemetery. I will stand straight and listen to the good words spoken. If the occasion arises I will say a kind word or two and by no means will my shoes ever touch the stones.  

An old rule hammered down that I obey to this day.

My grandparents graves are far away but I know someday I will travel north and pay my respect. Even in heaven Grandma’s guilt speaks volumes.

As you can tell I prefer the memories. If given the choice of remembering my great-aunt Dot’s cold dead hand or her caring smile as I sip her special vodka, memories will win every time.

Now you know why I don’t do cemeteries.

vodka 4

 

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

32 thoughts on “SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

  1. Interesting story, I can understand why you’re not a fan and ESPECIALLY of open caskets, I think even i’d had been creeped out by that.

    I have to say I love cemeteries, not when people die but just as locations. They are calming and hold this grand sense of collective history from those gone before. I often walk through cemeteries, especially the old ones where all the spaces have been filled. They give you a nice time with your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You gave me an idea, Ari. All of the cemeteries I have been to I have a connection to those who have passed. If I were to go to one without any connection I wonder how I’d feel? You got me thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As a teenager, cemeteries were a place of wonder, mischief and adventure. A place where darkness added an element of danger.
    But when I was eighteen my mum died and the cemetery became a cold, void place that reminded me of her absence. Now they evoke dread and a heavy sense of loss. Where as my memories of her will forever be warm and heartfelt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t blame you for not doing cemeteries!! I have never been to an open casket funeral and all my family so far has been cremated. Now that I think of it, I don’t think I have ever been in a cemetery. I am glad you can remember the good times with your great-Aunt!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m right there with you, there is nothing there, in the cemetery I mean. Growing up I was raised Catholic and being Hispanic the whole cemetery thing was reinforced by the ideas that my parents would have the entire family join in on going there and cleaning the burial plots for Dia del los Muertos. When I converted to being a Baptist (which my mother still questions today) the teaching that what is left behind after we die are memories, nothing else. So for me a burial plot is just a hole in the ground with nothing in it. Some people will be offended by that but this is what I believe. I have not once gone back to the dusty cemetery in the rural town I was raised in for anything. I loved this, great insight on not doing cemeteries!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A high-school classmate of mine died of cancer last month. He was a bright, kind, good person. He was also tall, dark and handsome. I hated him (kidding). That’s how I think of him. I would rather have those memories swirling around in my head than laying a flower at his grave.

      Thank you. That was excellent.

      Like

      1. Haha, I too had those “perfect” classmates, I think we all did. I forgot to mention that the fighting over plots thing was definitely funny just like The Renewed Commuter stated. That’s why I’m going to be cremated and my boys will scatter my ashes in Lake Michigan. Hey I want to go somewhere I’ve never been and that seems far enough to me, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this post despite the topic, Bryan. Nice humor in there, hehe. I do cemeteries, but merely as a spectator into the past and storyteller. I like looking at old stones and imagining the lives and relationships of the departed. My family is definitely not into the worms and bugs, so our dearly departed have all been cremated and tossed from mountaintops or poured beneath trees. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was an interesting post Bryan. My grandmother used to like going to the funeral home to visit neighbors, friends, or relatives and she would always reach in and grab the person’s hand as well. (OMG) When we’d go to visit her and we’d catch up on the family and neighborhood news and who was no longer living, she’d talk about going to “visit them” like they’d had a little sitdown with tea and fancy cookies. My mom went with her a few times and witnessed it. I’ve only been to my grandparents funerals and had no choice in the matter for those. No more funerals for me and I cannot visit a funeral home – I tell the deceased’s family that I prefer to remember them as they were, not like I will remember them if I go THERE. I have had people tell me I am disrespectful (my mom, and my boss both have chastised me) but I can’t and won’t go to a funeral home. I have no family. My mom was cremated and asked that her cremains be scattered in her (my) homeland which is Canada. I am estranged from my father. Interestingly, my curiosity was piqued by a very old cemetery in Wyandotte, the next city over from me. Earlier this year I visited Oakwood Cemetery. It was unkempt, gravestones were large and listing to the side, their names barely legible – a little creepy and I did a post on that cemetery and my walk through it. I had intended to go to another very old cemetery this weekend but we have bad weather, so I’ll defer that trip until next Halloween. My trip to this old and decrepit cemetery was the first time I’d every been in a cemetery. Here is my post if you want to read it sometime: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/06/03/tiptoe-through-the-tombstones-with-me/

    Like

  7. Linda – You read my mind. The moment you mentioned your walk through the old cemetery I wanted to hear your experience. Thank you for submitting the link. My curiosity cup is runneth over.

    It’s interesting how many of us have had similar experiences. My grandparents and yours might have come from the same time. Funerals were a gathering. Not only with the living but with the deceased.

    As mentioned in my post I am sure someday I will drive the eight hours north and pay respect to my grandparents grave. Guilt is a strong emotion to some and that some would be me. 🙂

    Thank you for your fascinating and informative reply. It was a great read.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I must have been misplaced in this era – your grandparents sound like me and my family. Having the right plot in the right place is still very important. I haven’t purchased mine yet (and feel great guilt because of that fact), but I do know what cemetery and where the plot is!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Yeah, me neither. In fact, I can’t remember ever once visiting one to see the deceased. I can pay respects right here, as you say, with a memory (and a beer). Good post. Once again I agree 100%. If I had a plot I’d sell it. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  10. An excellent post. I have similar feelings, having been taken up to the open casket of my dearest great-grandmother at the age of eight. It was terrifying to see her there–it was the first time I’d ever seen someone dead, and no one had prepared me for it. I’m not so much adverse to cemeteries but funeral homes are definitely not my thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Funeral homes had a certain smell, I remember. It wasn’t a bad smell but there was something in the air that made me want to leave. Maybe we all need to do a separate post on our trip to a graveyard. That would be fascinating.

    Like

  12. I, too, don’t like seeing a shell of a body in an open casket; its a bit eerie. I have a vivid imagination so the thought of a hand grabbing your feet, at a cemetery, creeps me out. Great memories of your great aunt Dot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My husband always remembers being brought home from school to see his grandfather in his coffin – a Scottish/Irish catholic thing I imagine. My family loved visiting cemeteries to see other people’s graves, but I don’t think anyone in our family has a gravestone to visit’ – scattered ashes. My husband’s got his name down to donate his body to science – then you don’t have to have a funeral at all!

    Like

  14. I’m from an Irish Catholic home, that would make sense. His body to science is a great idea. Anything to prevent future causes and discover answers. Thank you for stopping by. Good to see you.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s