Saturday, June 26, 2010

Visiting the Site

When I went home to Canada, I stopped in at my grandparents' gravesite. I was pissed!!!! The weeds had grown so high and so thick, it was more than just embarrassing, it was maddening. Initially, my mother had planted trees and each year, she'd update the plants and used to take great care of the gravesite until someone ripped up everything she had planted. After that, she left it to other family members to care for. Which, clearly had not happened.
My grandparents were 2 of the most amazing, loving, caring and generous people. They loved me very much and took great care of me while my parents worked. They cared for lots of other people's children and several of my cousins at various times. Everyone they met, loved them. Even after over 50 years of marriage, my grandparents were loving and affectionate with each other. Even when they would argue in French or Spanish and my grandfather would reply in English just to piss my grandmother off. LOL!
My grandfather loved to garden. I remember 'helping' him to garden in our yard.
My grandparents deserve a well-kept gravesite. I knew I had to make this right.

I enlisted the aid of J to help me pick out the appropriate low maintenance plants that will provide ground cover, color, and will return year after year. There were a couple of plants already there that were in good condition, so we left them.
It looks like not much right now, but in time, these slow-growing ground cover plants will fill the area and some of them will bloom at different times of the year.
When we were done, I looked over at the site next to my grandparents. I totally get why they went the fake flower route. LOL!!
In driving around the cemetery, I thought of my former perceptions. The way my family has always done death is to have a big headstone.
I used to think the poor people were the ones with the simple grave markers.
Now, I think those are the smart people. Why go through the expense of a big plot and headstone your family has to maintain? What happens when they move, or get busy, or die?

J and I plan to be cremated. Considering I've lived in Canada, Tulsa, and now Chicago, where would my gravesite be? Cremation just makes sense. And, to be honest, I don't really care where my ashes go - I'll be dead.


Anonymous said...

question, if it doesnot matter, why did you visit your grandparents grave? I personally LOVE tomestones. I think in some ways it tells a story and history. From your grandparents we can tell they were loved and that he was a christian. call me weird but I LOVE to walk in old cemtaries for that reason.
I understand the where thing, I struggle with that.
love ya,
anon 2


My grandfather died when i was about 11. My grandmother lived with us and we would go to the gravesite with her. She died 10 years ago.

I like graveyards and that is only one I have any legitimate business visiting.

I am probably the only one of the grandchildren who know where the site is and visit it. I guess I feel like if I don't go, they will be forgotten on this earth and their lives won't matter as much.

Felicity said...

I didn't think I cared about tombstones, either, but now I find them a great comfort. And a "connecting point" with loved ones. Our daughter's stone is entirely too big, but her memory is at least that large in our hearts. Going there once a year to set out flowers is a blessing of remembrance. I know my grandparents travel all over the countryside some Memorial Day weekends; it is a lot of work for them, but it is something they do out of respect and love. I can see that is what you have for your grandparents as well.


Wow, Felic, I love what you said about your daughter.