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Monday, May 25, 2009

My thoughts on death & cemeteries...

Being Memorial Day, a lot of posts have had a bit of cemetery talk. While commenting to Lover of Life about her post (lifeinthesecondhalf.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-hate-memorial-day.html) I felt the sudden urge to blog about my desires for when the inevitable happens...

Every day I get in the car, I risk losing my life on the road. Not that I am paranoid about it, just a fact. Anywhere you drive these days, you're likely to see those little crosses and fake flowers marking another loss of life along the highways. I told my husband that should I die in a car accident and he puts one of those things up for me, I will come back to haunt him! Please, don't take offense if you've done that for a loved one. This is only my personal feeling about me and my loved ones. Should Hubby meet that end, I will NOT put up the little cross with fake flowers. I do not want to be remembered for how I died, but for how I lived! I don't want him to think of where I died, but where I lived! I'd rather him be reminded of me by looking out to the gardens and the animals. I hope he leaves the feminine touch in the master bath to remember how I loved it. I hope he reads the notes I scribbled in the margins of my Bible, and the numerous blogs I have posted all over cyberspace. That is me. I am not a corpse along the roadway.


Now, on to cemeteries... I obligingly take my mom to my Gramma's grave a couple of times a year. I don't really feel much about it because I know Gramma isn't there. She is with her Lord in heaven! I know Mom gets something out of this visit, so I take her. I'm glad she's not reading this... When she is gone, I will not be spending time at her grave site. I will have pictures and memories.


Hubby and I have decided to donate our bodies to the university's medical school. When they are done, Hubby's cremated remains will be spread here on his beloved farm. I told him to flush me, throw me in the creek, whatever... I just want to end up in the water.


If my daughter wants to do something special on Memorial Day, have her spend an hour relating stories of some good times with me to friends and family.


As far as the Veterans are concerned, I am as grateful as anyone for the service they gave. It is stirring to drive past a Veterans' Cemetery and observe the tidy rows of miniature flags. Thank you to all those that volunteer to carry on this tradition. It is an honor to them, but I think an even greater honor is a public service where living Vets can tell their tale, the ones who gave their all can be recognized, and just generally show everyone of them the respect and thanks they so well deserve. Take your children to these events and educate them on the price of our Freedom.


P.S. I had to come back to edit this post. While commenting on yet another Memorial Day posting, it suddenly dawned on me... What people get from the ritual of visiting the graves... I had just read Joan's post at 50somethingwoman.blogspot.com/ She spoke of the bonding, family values kinds of things. Blame it on my upbringing I suppose. Those things were never nurtured in me. That makes me sad. I must be missing out on something really special...

5 comments:

Rae said...

This is an excellent post! I feel the same way as you. I get a creeped out feeling everytime I see one of those little roadside memorials.

My hubby says he can't wait for me to go because when I am gone our furniture will remain in one spot permanently-I am always rearranging. I guess I like change. I just might set aside some money for a housekeeper to come in when I am gone just to rearrange-drive him crazy! lol

I go to the cemetery to decorate my mom's grave but I leave feeling empty. She isn't there.

I think cemetery decorating is just a rite to make the living feel better. The body in the ground doesn't know you have been there.

Grandma Nina said...

Hi Lily,
I enjoyed your post. It's interesting how the same experience can mean different things to different people. But your feelings aren't really different. You want to be remembered for the good times and that's how I feel, too. And I also don't care so much for those road side graves. The only difference is that I was raised to look at cemetaries as a pretty place, almost like a park or a garden. I'm sure that's looked upon as being rather strange by some. So perception is our reality. But good memories of those that have passed, and hopefully others having good memories of us when we pass, is what we all wish for.

SquirrelQueen said...

My feeling is at the end there should be a celebration of one's life, but then mourning seems to comfort most people.
I want my ashes tossed into the ocean or a least a river headed that way.

SQ

~*Jessica*~ said...

Even though Tim is not the oldest child, if Ray wants to be spread out on the farm....Tim will make sure it happens. Just make sure he puts that down somewhere so I will remember.

MrsSmith said...

I had never thought about that when I saw those crosses on the side of the road - now I feel the same way - I'd rather be remembered for how I lived, not how I died. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!