Author Topic: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead  (Read 303 times)

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Offline gmillerdrake

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Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« on: April 26, 2019, 07:55:54 AM »
I didn't know how else to title this thread...but I was thinking to myself about how little I visit the grave sites of those I've loved and have lost. I'm lucky enough at this point to still have my mother and father, and my mother and father in laws (who I cherish as well) so, my immediate older loved ones are still around.

But my grandmother who I was very close with passed away (4) years ago and I think I've been to her grave site maybe twice? I have three good friends that have died in accidents and the only time I've been to their grave sites was the day they were buried.

I know my mother visits my grandmothers grave site regularly, she goes out to her grandmothers grave site a lot....I've heard others speak about visiting....I just never feel compelled to. I don't know what it is. I guess I prefer to just recall memories and moments and reflect on them 'whenever'....not needing to visit their burial site.

Last week while in Nashville visiting my bro in law and his wife....we went to the National Stone's River Civil War battleground and spent the day there. We did a little seek and find adventure where we traveled the battlegrounds and answered questions and the kiddos received a patch and pin and became 'Junior Rangers' for their efforts.

One of the stops took us to the Cemetery where there were 12,000 soldiers laid to rest. It was just a surreal scene....seeing all these names and thinking about them. I've seen our own DTF Jackie post a lot of really neat pics of her visits to cemetery's and their most always of some pretty old sites. Very intriguing and I'm just curious as to if anyone makes a 'habit' out of visiting their loved ones who have passed? I kind of feel like I don't do it enough...like I'm supposed to do it more. But, it just does not cross my mind to all that much.
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Offline Grappler

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 08:08:21 AM »
I sadly don't find the time to go very often.  My closest grandma died in 1997 and I didn't go back to the cemetery until 2009 on Mothers Day, a week before I was going to get married.  I just felt like I should visit that year.  When I got to my grandparent's gravesite, it started raining and didn't stop until I turned to walk back to my car.  I can guarantee my grandma made it rain on me because I hadn't visited her in so long.   :lol 

That same grandma would go to the cemetery weekly or monthly when I was younger, to clean up the headstone for my grandpa, who died in 1983.  I remember going with her all the time as a kid.

When I was younger, my parents would take us on an annual summer vacation, which usually included stops at old cemeteries to see the gravesite of some important individual.  I've seen Mt. Vernon and Monticello, where George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are buried, I've seen "Authors Ridge" where people like Emerson and Throeau are.  Arlington Cemetery, of course and JFK's eternal flame.  I've always found it neat to see those famous gravesites and pay respect to history.

Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 08:45:41 AM »
A very interesting topic.

When people have passed in my life, I have grieved, made my peace with it and then moved on. I rarely if ever visit graves. It works best for me to just let go. I know that that's not for everyone though. 





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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2019, 09:00:09 AM »
I lost all my grandparents and an uncle, my parents are still here. It's one of the hardest things to contemplate, aside your own mortality, and I don't know how I'll react.

I rarely visit, if at all, the graves of the two grandparents that are buried where I live - it doesn't really have much to do with me not being a religious fellow, it's just that... it happened, nothing will bring them back, I just have to move on. Remembering is one thing, facing continously the loss is another, the less I think about it, which does not mean forgetting, the healthier it is.

I mean, I'll never forget my uncle, the father of my cousin that is basically a sister since we've always been so close, but there's only so many times I can rethink about the whole ordeal: the diagnosis, the first operation, things seeming to get better, the second operation, being told he had two months to live... it's a "defeat", life inflicted us a defeat and I don't want to spend too much time thinking about that, which, as I said, does not mean forgetting...

An aside - I also find weird our approach to death, and how funerals are sorry, desolate affairs. We in the western world live in a society where the most widespread religion preaches of a life after death, and yer funerals are gloomy and doomy and full of people crying. I don't expect people to rejoice at someone's death, but maybe take a lesson from those cultures where funerals are basically parties and everyone is eating or whatever.....
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Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 09:26:14 AM »
A very interesting topic.

When people have passed in my life, I have grieved, made my peace with it and then moved on. I rarely if ever visit graves. It works best for me to just let go. I know that that's not for everyone though.

I think I handle it the same way. As I said, I've only had a couple people who I've cared deeply about pass away....so, there aren't many examples for me to think of. My grandmother is the best one. We were very close. Talked at least once a week...saw her a couple times a month.

She slowly passed away from cancer over a two year period and honestly, by the time she passed away I had pretty much already grieved. I recall not even crying at her funeral. I felt so horrible because I didn't even muster a tear. It was such a long and slow 'death' that by the time she passed it wasn't a 'shock' any longer. I still feel bad sometimes knowing that when my dog 'Drake' died in 2013 I cried with deep, gut wrenching tears and wales for days.....wheras when my grandmother passed...nothing. I know it had to do with the duration of her failing health but it's always felt 'weird' to me given how close we were that I was so 'emotionless' when she passed.
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Online Chino

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2019, 09:30:59 AM »
I'm not one for cemeteries at all. I typically never enter one outside of a funeral. However, I did make a trip to one back in October 2018, and I'm still not really sure what compelled me to do it. I don't believe in an afterlife, and I really don't see the point in burying the dead in this day and age. I don't get much out of cemeteries in general other than being reminded that everyone will one day be forgotten and die for their second and final time. But that's neither here nor there. The point is I went.   

Quick backstory. I never met my dad's father, John. He died of a heart attack about 20 years before I was born. My father said he and I were incredibly similar and we would have gotten along great. My dad's mother died when I was recovering from my balcony mishap 10 years ago. I went to the funeral, but hadn't been to her grave or the cemetery since. She was buried next to her husband John.   

Last October I took a solo trip to Ireland. I drank exclusively Heineken drafts while I was over there. I must have had 60-70 of them. When I came home, I went out to lunch with my dad and was telling him about the trip, and I mentioned how much Heineken I drank. He had no idea I even liked Heineken. He went on to tell me how Heineken was his dad's favorite beer, but he would never buy it. He couldn't afford it. He'd only get to drink it if he was at a get together somewhere and the hosts had it.

I found myself at a package store not far from the cemetery grabbing a 12 pack of Heineken, and I decided to stop at the cemetery on my way home. I said hey to grandma and dumped a beer out over grandfather's plot. Not sure why I did any of those things. I don't believe my grandma could hear me, and I wasted about $1.37 worth of perfectly good beer, but something about it felt good. I gave their headstone a pat and went on my way.

Offline kingshmegland

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 09:33:25 AM »
What timing Gary.  We visit my mom all the time.  They Easter we posted pictures on Facebook of visiting Mom on Easter.

2 weekends ago we went to my Dad's side grandparents grave.  It's been too long and it's a flat plate that had grass overgrowing on it.  We cleaned it up the best we could but made a promise to go back with gardening tools to really spruce it up.
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Offline Podaar

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 09:33:48 AM »
It is strange Gary. I'll admit to being a pretty big hypocrite where this is concerned.

My father died over 16 years ago and I've only visited his grave twice since then. I don't think I could find my grand parents stones if I had to. I've always considered the practice a bit morbid and not really an honor to the dead but more a commemoration of grief rather than the person.

Yet, on my workbench at home, I'm very patiently carving my cat's name into a marble capstone for her burial vault in my garden.

What the hell is the matter with me.  :lol

Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 09:33:53 AM »
A very interesting topic.

When people have passed in my life, I have grieved, made my peace with it and then moved on. I rarely if ever visit graves. It works best for me to just let go. I know that that's not for everyone though.

I think I handle it the same way. As I said, I've only had a couple people who I've cared deeply about pass away....so, there aren't many examples for me to think of. My grandmother is the best one. We were very close. Talked at least once a week...saw her a couple times a month.

She slowly passed away from cancer over a two year period and honestly, by the time she passed away I had pretty much already grieved. I recall not even crying at her funeral. I felt so horrible because I didn't even muster a tear. It was such a long and slow 'death' that by the time she passed it wasn't a 'shock' any longer. I still feel bad sometimes knowing that when my dog 'Drake' died in 2013 I cried with deep, gut wrenching tears and wales for days.....wheras when my grandmother passed...nothing. I know it had to do with the duration of her failing health but it's always felt 'weird' to me given how close we were that I was so 'emotionless' when she passed.

I felt exactly the same way when my grandmother passed. Slowly died of cancer, and I watched the deterioration day after day, and the 2 months of hospice were by far the worst. And by the time she passed the feeling was more of relief for her sake more than sadness. I also felt emotionless and it was very weird. I was like "what is wrong with me" but then moments of sadness would break through as time went by. Before eventually making peace with it. 

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2019, 09:38:24 AM »
I used to visit my dad (and grandmother) every month or so... but over the last decade (10 years next week), it's become less and less, to the point where I think last time I went out there was over a year ago.

I used to really hate cemeteries with a passion... but my "senior" year of high school was spent at an Adult Ed type place, next door to a cemetery that several of my family members are buried at. I found that the cemetery was an excellent place to spend my lunch breaks. Peaceful and serene. That was until the school banned students from going in there after a vandalism incident.
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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2019, 09:39:14 AM »
I know how you feel and the guilt might be messing with your head, but everyone must do what they feel is right for them.  Everyone grieves differently and in their own way.

My late girlfriend died 3 years ago next month and I havenít visited her plot in probably 2 years.  Part of me feels that itís long overdue and I should be visiting her regularly.  However, she is in my heart and mind every day.  I talk to her every day and her presence is all around me.  This is mostly because I now have most of her things from when we lived together in her house.  A few things we bought together, but itís mostly all her in the house Iím living in now.  She had great taste and I helped her pick out most of the things she bought for her house when she got divorced.  Although it is painful, I probably should visit her more often in the physical sense, but I still visit her every day in my heart and mind.  Thatís whatís important.  Our lost loved ones are never truly gone as long as we remember them.
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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2019, 09:48:32 AM »
when my dog 'Drake' died in 2013 I cried with deep, gut wrenching tears and wales for days.....wheras when my grandmother passed...nothing. I know it had to do with the duration of her failing health but it's always felt 'weird' to me given how close we were that I was so 'emotionless' when she passed.

I don't want this to sound morbid, but could it maybe be that sometimes we want our relatives to pass away? And I don't mean that in a "can you just croak already and give me my portion of your estate already" kind of way.

I take my grandmother for example. She's my last remaining grandparent. Every time I see her, she's so much worse. She can still talk and eat, kind of, but her brain is really starting to go. She can't tell you what she had for breakfast an hour before, and when I visited her on Easter, she asked in front of the whole family "Why didn't your wife come?". Well, for one, she's not my wife, and two, she moved out 10 months ago and we're pretty much split at this point. She'll start saying something while pinching her thumb and pointer finger together, and then she'll just get stuck in an inaudible loop like a malfunctioning host in Westworld. She can't be transferred from her wheelchair to her bed without shitting herself. She'll forget to swallow pills and just leave them sitting in her mouth for hours. Even though she's in a nursing home, my mom probably spends 20-30 hours a week visiting her, and she's constantly a ball of stress because of it.   

As absolutely terrible as it sounds, while it will be sad, the day she finally goes will almost be a sigh of relief for the family. I know she doesn't want to be alive any more. She says all the time she just wants to be with her husband (he died in March of 2002). She's good to go. She saw her children, and her children's children grow up. She's content with life and wants to call it a day, and I wish she would, for her and my mom's sake. I can't help but feel like an asshole saying that, and I'm not trying to be. I just don't really know how else to phrase it.

I won't shed a tear when she dies, and if I do, it's going to be because I'm watching my mom cry. That gets me every time. However, when the day comes that I have to put Norman down, I'm probably going to need to take a couple days off work to just sulk and sob and be alone.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2019, 10:03:36 AM »
I donít think thatís morbid Brian. ĎWeí were all the same way as my grandmother slowly deteriorated. When she was conscious the pain meds she was on rarely gave us moments with her that were lucid (for her). it sucked. And, I think we were all relieved for her and each other when she finally passed.
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2019, 10:45:08 AM »
I don't think its morbid either.

Death is an inevitability. Its gonna happen one way or another, so if there's someone that is suffering and has no quality of life, and there is no chance of recovery, then them passing I look at as a positive thing. And after seeing a loved one on hospice for 2 months, I feel that more now then ever.


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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2019, 10:53:56 AM »
As someone who has worked in deathcare for 14 years, and is currently sitting in a funeral home located on the grounds of a cemetery I certainly know a bit about them. I would say that people honestly don't seem to visit that often, outside of when they have to be there because they are planning the burial of someone new. There are exceptions of course, and people tend to visit more often when someone has recently passed or on holidays and such when family is gathered. A big part of it is convenience as well. A lot of people who are buried now bought plots 10, 20, 30, or 40 years ago, and not all of them then stayed in that area. So often times the cemetery is not very close to the family anymore.

All that said we have one lady who visited her father, and now recently her mother and father every single day. But that would be one of those exceptions, not the rule.

Edit: From a personal perspective both of my grandfathers have passed. One was buried 45 minutes away from me, but I have passed by a few times. That said I never visited because to my knowledge my grandmother still hasn't actually buried his ashes at the plot yet, even though the stone is there and finished now. I have visited the grave of my other grandfather and will if I'm going by, but won't make a special trip or anything.
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2019, 02:51:57 PM »
I had kind of another thought regarding this.

Say for instance I needed a heart transplant or something along those lines. Knowing that someone had to die so that I could live, I think I would periodically want to visit that person's grave to honor their sacrifice.

Offline pg1067

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2019, 04:21:46 PM »
Both my parents and all three of my sisters have died.  I've been to my father's grave once (he died in 1974, when I was 7, and I went to the grave sometime in the mid-90s) and went to one sister's grave once (only because I was at the cemetery making arrangements for my mother).  I just have never had any interest in going and looking at tombstones.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2019, 06:34:20 PM »
Chino, your post was very thoughtful and something many of us feel at different points in our lives, and we should not feel ashamed of those feelings.

Or, as an old guy in Maine once said, "Sometimes, dead is better."

I was really close to my mom's parents when I was a kid, but then when I got older and moved away from school I grew apart from them. When they passed I was sad, but they had long, full lives, and I remember them as very caring people to me and my sister. I drive by their cemetery any time I go to my parents house and always think "I've never visited their grave sites."  Then I realize I have never really felt compelled to. The only other relatives who have passed are in other states and I was never close to. Fortunately I've never had a friend in my age group pass. 
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Offline CrimsonSunrise

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2019, 03:11:25 PM »
I'm definitely not a cemetery guy.  I'm pretty sure I have never re-visited the graveside of a loved one.  Closest thing was my Mom's 1st year anniversary of her death.  She was cremated and her ashes spread over the ocean right outside Newport Beach harbor.  On that day I did some drone flying/footage of the surrounding area and made a nice little tribute piece to share with my dad and siblings.

My dad I also believe will be cremated when he passes.  Me and my wife, both avid scuba divers, want to be cremated.  We want our ashes incorporated into a small unobtrusive cinder block/brick to be placed on one of our favorite reefs.

That all being said, I understand why folks may feel a connection to their loved ones at their gravesides. 

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2019, 12:07:39 PM »
Reminds me of how I think it's odd that people talk to the headstone and not the ground where the actual body is buried.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Cemetery's - Remembering our Dead
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2019, 12:22:36 PM »
Composting yourself is now an option, at least in WA.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/20/us/washington-composting-dead-bodies/index.html
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