Daily Archives: November 16, 2011
This past weekend, my siblings and I took our mom shopping. No, we didn’t head down to the mall. Nothing that conventional. And we didn’t hit the grocery store, either. Far too boring. Instead, we headed to the local cemetery to buy a plot of land.
For those of you who haven’t been following this blog, on November 28th, 2009, my dad passed away. My mom, unable to part with him, purchased a beautiful urn-for-two which she keeps on her bedside table so she can talk to him at night. But now my mom has decided it’s time to pick out their final resting spot.
And it’s all about location.
Of course, there’s criteria to be met. Dad had mentioned – repeatedly – that in the afterlife, he didn’t want his feet wet. Because he was an early riser, Mom thought the plot should face east. And finally, it was important to live in a neighbourhood with a few of Dad’s friends and co-workers close by so he would have someone to visit.
For an hour, we wandered through the cemetery, reading names and dates on headstones, with Mom pointing out the headstones belonging to people Dad knew. When we’d seen who lived in each neighbourhood, we got down to the nitty gritty of the landscape. Slope of the land, view from the plot, and the general appearance of the surrounding area.
In the older neighbourhoods, the ground had settled and several of the headstones were crooked. Now, to give you an idea of how exacting my mother is, my BIL once claimed that my mom said to my dad: “Don, move the house. It’s a quarter of an inch off center.” Which meant we kept on browsing until we found a lovely section with a sidewalk-like foundation for the headstone to stand on.
Bingo. We’d found the right neighbourhood. Now all we had to do was pick the site.
At this point, we decided it was time to check on availability and price. While we were pleasantly surprised by the cost of the plots, the lack of availability indicated this was a tight market.
In the end, we narrowed the choice down to a beautiful area with a park bench for visitors, flowerbeds filled with trees and bushes, good drainage for heavy rain or melting snow, and even some wildlife nearby … a stone statue of a deer at rest on the ground.
It promises to be a quiet neighbourhood filled with old friends – and I imagine – quite a few new ones, too. It will be handy to the children, an important consideration if you want frequent visitors. And above all, when both of my parents move into the great unknown, it will be the last piece of land they will ever have purchased.
If you had to pick out your final resting spot today, what kind of location do you imagine you would choose?