Thursday, August 20, 2015

Grave

I have visited those of my ancestors in Holliday, TN and Port Arthur, TX, in Lehigh, IA and Luverne, AL. And now in Clarksburg, MD. I understand the quiet communion that can be had with the memory of those long gone; the connection one can feel through the sight of a engraved, well-known name; the pleasure of placing a rock on the headstone to mark remembrance (though sometimes I imagine the deceased as they are in Our Town, figures in folding chairs with a far larger view of life than the living).


And I understand the wish to be cremated--to refuse participation in this tradition involving leeching chemicals and insulation from the Earth. But it's not for me. When I die, bury me in a shroud or a simple box; plant a tree above me and let me feed it so you can visit me in my shade.

17 comments :

  1. Lovely. Before Tseering left we investigated natural burial...you would think it would be the wisest solution but society even sanitizes death. Thanks for linking in Sarah. Great contribution!

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    1. Yeah. I'd take cremation, though, if it means my life tree could be grown near to one of my kids.

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  2. 'cellent photo (to accompany your Six Sentence Story)... for whatever reason, this was a very tactile read

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  3. Yes it is a difficult decision, for who will care for the grave after all the relatives who cared have gone?

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    1. Well, it will become a beautiful decay for others' imagination.

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  4. My mother and father-in-law died within one month of each other. We planted fruit trees to commemorate their lives. Beautiful and meaningful. I love the idea of a remembrance tree. (Even if my ashes are sprinkled in the earth around it).

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    1. Within one month. Oh my.
      Yes, I have known others with remembrance trees and ashes. I like that idea, too, actually.

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  5. Beautiful. My mom wants to not only be cremated, but then wants my siblings and me to take a trip to Niagara Falls to throw her ashes (in a barrel) over the falls. I don't know if I'll be able to do such a thing. I would like to have a place to visit her that doesn't include a million tourists.

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    1. I think that's just wonderful. I hope you can manage it somehow.

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  6. So so well written. I'm still deciding on the ground or the cremation but lean towards the cremation because clean and no bugs. Also terrifying because fire. GORGEOUS and so glad to have read this!!!

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    1. Thank you! I won't mind the bugs as I'll be dead, after all.

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    2. Just a little fun fact: when you are dead, you have no rights any longer, so no matter what YOU want, your next of kin gets to decide whether you are cremated or buried.

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  7. I actually did not know of that tradition of leaving a rock on a headstone. But then again, this is a topic I tend to avoid. Very mature, I know lol.
    Great story!

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    1. I think it's a Jewish tradition. In the graveyard where my FIL is buried, there are basins (birdbaths) all over, filled with stones so you can leave one as a remembrance. I'm adopting the tradition for all graves now.

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  8. This is lovely. I have such a difficult time with this subject. I have no desire to think about what I want done when I'm gone but I know it has nothing to do with a box in the ground. I like the idea of being part of the earth, something beautiful and natural to mark the spot.

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  9. I like the tradition of laying stones on top of the grave marker. It's nice. We threaten to give my dad a Viking funeral, but in all honesty, he'd probably really like that.

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