Last night, a cousin called. I don’t keep in touch with family anymore. When my husband handed me the phone and said it’ s your family……..I said………”Who died?”
It wasn’t a death, though my ties to family have long been deceased. She lost her mother this past summer, my last elderly aunt. I lost my mom a very long time ago. Together, their mortal bodies share a grave.
I say mortal bodies because I don’t believe they are there anymore. When I lost my mom, I believed it. It took a long time, it took visits each day to the cemetery, it took evolving and growing to realize she is not.
I live in an area where Christmastime brings elaborate grave blanket decorations. Here, each glittered pine cone and feathered bird brings the price up one more dollar. It has become a display to see whose grave is the biggest and most glittery.
Back to the call…….there was some mention of busy body cousins visiting the cemetery and commenting on the barren ground of their aunts’ grave. Winter to me is a barren time; there will be flowers in the spring. I used to buy statues for my mother’s grave, but much vandalization occurred and things were stolen. My mother always told me to treat the living right and you will not have to treat them with flowers when they are dead.
I like the custom of placing a stone on a grave. Just a natural remembrance that one has been there to honor the place, not the body……for the body has moved into an eternal place of energy.
My cousin hinted about sending me a check to adorn the site. She lives too far to visit……..an hour away. To me, that is not too far, but I was silent. My distress was internally cast upon my body in the form of bad dreams last night.
I am going to visit my parents’ grave today. I am not bringing a glittery blanket. I am bringing myself………which is all they ever wanted ……..the remembrance of a child. You can buy a thousand glittery pine cones to ease one’s conscience or appease the relatives……..but ……………..
Once, I visited the cemetery a week or two after Christmas. There is a short window of time when the holiday is over and the cemetery workers come to collect the blankets. I saw a woman traveling through the cemetery, collecting all the glittery pine cones and feathered birds and placing them inside the trunk of her car. A cemetery worker said, “You know the florists and wreath makers come now, replenishing stock for next year.” I was amazed back then, but now, older and more “seasoned”……..it doesn’t amaze me anymore.
I will keep my beliefs about our bodies replenishing energy………my cousins can keep their beliefs about glittery blankets that cover graves and a lot of hidden agendas…….