One of the things that Edmund and I found early on that we had in common was an interest in graveyards. We both enjoy meandering through the old graveyards, reading the history embedded on the stones. Often on a road trip when we spot an oldish looking graveyard we will stop. Strolling along the paths around the aging marble monuments to lives well-lived and read them aloud to one another. So enlightening.
We spend a lot of time with our "parents" his mother and my aunt. They often ask us to take them down to our community graveyard. There we walk or drive(depending on their energy that day) them around the gravel roadways as they read aloud, the familar names, sharing with us, memories that are inevitably jogged as they pass certain stones or family plots. When they tire of this activity they sit side by side on the cool granite bench facing the graveyard, hands folded, listening to the sounds of silence, and anything nature has to offer, birds, crickets, squirrels and such. They seem at peace there in the quiet of these afternoons. I sometimes think they sense how close they are to joining all these friends that have gone before them.
As they wander around through the gravesites, it must be something akin to looking at new houses and deciding where you want to live. sorta. The other day Aunt Dor figured out that there really isn't any room for her, near "mother, Joyce or Miss Wilde" and she wondered aloud where she would be "planted", perhaps up there on the hill with Dad and Auntie Phyl? she questioned? I guess I better find out."
Anyway late this morning I had the opportunity to attend a friends interment. It was a sweet, graveside gathering. What a tribute to our friend. Standing there sharing these last moments together I realized that I want this kind of a gathering as well. A real sharing of life.
No long drawn out service. No thanks! no service in the austre cathedral with organ music for me, unless you absolutely have to. (which i hope you don't)! It would be so nice to have everyone sitting around on blankets and chairs at my gravesite sharing stories, songs, poems, thoughts, sharing their love, holding hands, hugging, talking and being together and having a picnic. O well, if it is in the winter or too cold, then take the party inside somehwhere! Good food, good music, good stories and have a fun time sharing what connects us all. Love.
That funerals, services and such are for the living is obvious. If I had my druthers I would want to be surrounded by love as I depart this world and as Aunt Dor so aptly put it, as I am planted. I haven't really noticed my thoughts about this until today. I suppose I have assumed I would be buried in the Bryn Athyn Cemetary someday where family and friends could easily walk down there to contemplate their lives on this planet and "visit" me. Me? Will I be there in some parallel world? To me there is an odd feeling of community in the weirdest sense of the word in this cemetary for me. A connectedness to the past and even a peak into the future, perhaps.
Funny how I have spent so much time there tending to the gardens I planted at the graves of those I have loved and miss in this life. And yet I wonder? Why do I do this if it no longer matters to them. They won't know if I do the upkeep or not. What do they know now that I don't know yet? They finally know the secret. Where are they? Is there a place? Are they all somewhere? or is it the beating of my heart that keeps them alive in my mind still able to make a difference in my life.