Monday, July 12, 2010

Thinking Thoughts

All people have their very own unique way of thinking.

Several weeks back I decided to stop at a local monument company and order a stone for my parents' grave. This is something very important to my sisters and I, but something my parents wouldn't necessarily want. When my own grandfather passed away eleven years ago, I believed that his body had been cremated. We had a memorial service at the church, but as far as I knew there had been no burial. I didn't ask questions. Maybe I was afraid of what the answer might be.

Last week, after a discussion with my sister, I got curious and called the cemetery where my uncle is buried. I asked if my grandfather was also buried there. I was surprised to hear he was and found myself unexpectedly smiling. It seems my aunt (the deceased uncle's wife) and my parents had a bit of a disagreement at the time of Grandpa's death. Apparently there was a burial after all and Grandpa's body was not cremated. He is buried next to my grandmother and has a marker to show where his body lies. This was contrary to my father's wishes and so my sisters and I never knew and did not attend the burial. We have never been to visit his grave.

As of this day, my father's ashes remain unburied. One day soon we will make a trip to the cemetery to have them properly buried. It may not have been what my father wanted, but it somehow seems terribly important to me.


  1. Martha, this was so interesting to read, and so glad you found out about your grandpa.

    All my deceased family are buried at the Turlock Cemetery. (In the old section with upright tombstones. The newer part of the cemetery looks like a park, with all flat stones.

    As I mentioned in post gone by, my friend Kristi and I spend hours in that old cemetery playing games and pretending to be missionaries.

    Thanks for a good post, and memories of my own.

  2. I agree, it is very important. I am shocked (after 11 yrs) that we have just learned that Grandpa is buried and has a headstone. How could we NOT know this, we loved him so much and were close to him. Seems strange to me.

  3. so interesting, martha! How great to find out about your grandpa!

  4. My mother always wanted to be cremated, she just thought it was the simplest thing to do, she knew she would already be with God, it was just a body, and so on...but right before she died she realized how hard that would be on my father, and she told us we could do whatever we wanted. They are now buried together in the cemetary in town. wah. Anyways, I am glad you found about your Grampa....

  5. Martha, as much as we want to honor our parents (and I know we both do), I think the things we do after they are gone are really for our comfort, grieving, etc. I think you and Rachel and Priscilla are right. If it is important to the three of you, then it is important. I am so glad you got such good news about your grandfather.

  6. I think you are right, Heather, it is very much for those of us who are left, but sometimes I think we almost forget that it is also for those who will follow us in the days and years to come. Somehow that little stone with a name engraved upon it is a connection to those who have traveled this world before, a little piece of the past to tell us they were here and that they mattered.