Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Monday Musings (A Day Late)

Last night I watched this short documentary on PBS' POV (Point of View) series. Sweet, poignant, deeply affecting. I highly recommend it.

 I've become the family point person to investigate burial plots at our favorite cemetery (yes, we have a favorite) in Monterey, CA. I was supposed to get this information a few years ago, and have now, finally done it. The woman I spoke with, Michelle, was refreshingly straightforward and said we could arrange all of this over the phone. She even looked to see if there was space near the plots of our good friends who are buried there. There is a spot 5 plots away, if we want it. I think we do. It may be silly and sentimental, but it just feels good to be situated close to their remains when we are nothing but ashes and dust.

My parents have already made arrangements with the Neptune Society, and have their cremation boxes on the top shelf in their clothes closet. I deeply appreciate their planning. It's not something anyone likes to think about, but when you think about the grief you will spare those left behind, well, it only makes sense. Decades ago before my parents left for an extended trip abroad, they sat their children down to talk about their will. Teenagers at the time, we all had that "ewwww" response and really didn't want to hear it. It really creeped me out, I remember that. That's teenagers for you. Now, as an elderly person myself (yeah, get over it), I'm much more realistic and practical about death and the attendant issues of what to do with the remains. I used to think I'd like to be scattered to the wind, but as I've aged, and walked many cemeteries, I quite like the idea of having a place with a marker to acknowledge my existence. Maybe I'll even put the URL to my blog on my headstone so anyone who is interested may get to know me better. Wouldn't that be funny?

 Dear Reader, have you made your arrangements? What would YOU like to happen to your remains?


  1. When our parents died, we bought eight plots in the country cemetery a mile and a half from our home. It's an old one and I know many of the people there besides our parents. I learned today that we could have our ashes interred there on top of the graves already there. I am not sure I want to do that but we have talked of even having them buried at the back of this place where we bury the livestock we lose. There are biodegradable containers for ashes. The one thing I don't want is to be in a box in the ground. I do see the advantage of the marker even when having been cremated. We have talked about it but I just don't have that one place i know I'd like my ashes to be. I don't want them divided though-- wherever they go, they all should go there together ;)

  2. I love the idea of putting the blog URL on your headstone. That would be a viral pic instantly! We plan to be cremated and scattered in Monterey Bay. So many loved ones there, it would be a family reunion.

    1. I like to think of the both of your ashes in Monterey Bay. You'd be nearish to me in the cemetery!

  3. My preference would be in a "green cemetery" where everything is biodegradable and there are no markers other than plain stones. But in deference to my family (and his preference) my husband and I will have a standard burial. However, it will be in a rather famous cemetery, Riverside Cemetery in Asheville. The plots are lovely on top of a hill with trees all around. They were purchased in the early 1900s by my husband's great grandfather so there are his mother, grandparents, and great-grandparents in the family plot.

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Yellow Cottage, Part 2

I have a dear friend who I met in my Creative Writing class my freshman year in college.  I sent the poem to her for her comments and edits ...