I, Debbie, learned this habit as a small child in New Jersey. My mom on a Saturday morning, once a month, would take me for a ride to the local cemetery. I can recall cleaning off the headstone and gravesite. I remember helping my mom plant fresh flowers, watering them and hoping that they would last until the next visit. My mom would always finish with a prayer and a short story about who these loved ones were and what they did for our family. Growing up, I always remembered this practice and realized, as I matured, how incredibly honoring this was to those who have passed on.
On Tuesday’s Take 2 with Jerry and Debbie, we are asking if you regularly visit the burial sites of those you have known and loved. Do you find it comforting? Does it make you come to grips with your own mortality? Have you ever had a profound experience at a cemetery? Maybe you are new to all this and cemeteries make you uncomfortable. If so, share why that is and let’s see if we can come to a better understanding of this fine practice.
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Below is Jerry’s sister’s grave at a cemetery in Seattle.
May 12, 2020 at 1:06 pm
I could say so many, many things about this topic. As a 4 year old, my grandmother, who lived downstairs from us, died and I was taken to the funeral home and many times to the cemetery to visit. As a teen, one of my relatives married into a family of undertakers, so funeral/cemeteries were “no big deal.” Also when I was in high school, my father ended up working for one of our city cemeteries (and became the crematory operator!), so going to cemeteries was no big deal. Sadly, as stated by at least one of your callers on Tuesday, it is no longer safe (especially for a “senior” lady) to go to the cemetery to visit my husband’s grave, or, even sadder, to my parents and grandparents graves. It is common knowledge here in town that if someone wants to go to ANY cemetery, there should be several people to go at one time, cars are ALWAYS to be locked, and it is stressed not to leave purses in plain sight! Given all that, I can count on one hand how many times I have been to my husband’s grave since his death in 2011. He is buried near his parents, brother, sister and sister-in-law, and his grave is quite near the main cemetery office, so I shouldn’t be afraid, right? NOPE! To be honest, as much as I love my husband, even to this day, he is not there; it is simply his mortal body.