Saturday, March 31, 2007

someone has to do it.....

The other day on my way back from an appointment in Southeast I stopped at Lone Fir Cemetery and rode my bike around in it. I never thought I’d be doing this, at least not before ninety, but the fact is that I’m shopping. Not for me, exactly, but for my family. They don’t know this yet, but someday they’ll thank me.

Recently at a typical family reunion at which all kinds of potentially offensive remarks are blurted out by all, my 20-year old niece called attention to this topic at the dinner table by suddenly shouting, with absolutely no lead-up, “OK, who wants to be buried and who wants to be burned!??” And she proceeded gleefully around the dinner table calling on each person as if she were polling ice cream flavor preferences, never thinking that some present, who might be teetering on the brink of the afterlife, might be a little sensitive about such matters.

But it turned out not to be a bad thing, there with the elders mixed in with the larvals and everyone in between. No one had time to switch to their “morose” channel, and
everyone staked out their preferences in rapid succession in the same tone they use at dessert time: Chocolate! Coffee! Mocha almond!

“Buried!” claimed my father with a raised hand when his turn came around.

So -- hellooo? doesn’t that mean we’re going to need a place to put him? It can’t just be “on the shelf” like it was with Grandma and Grandpa till we found the right time to scatter their ashes in the ocean like they wanted. When there’s a body involved, you have to move more quickly. You can’t just wait till the moment and then start furiously hunting for graveyard real estate. And yet no one in the family is looking into this – no one. My mother’s in no mood. Who is? You think I’m “in the mood”? The only reason I can handle it (and even enjoy it because I’ve always loved cemeteries) is that I feel it’s considerably far off. Everyone in my family lives into their late nineties and my father’s only 86 or so.

More on my findings later.



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