Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Loved by All

“Loved by all and more so one
Who held her in the cold.
Now she’s sleeping in the sun
And he’s no one to hold.”

I stood on the outskirts of the Williamsport Cemetery yesterday afternoon. My grandparents lived in the house bordering the cemetery and my aunt lives there now. Several large limbs had blown down in the recent storms and we were helping to clean up the mess.

My grandparents have an aboveground tomb in the cemetery. They had the tomb put in many years before they passed away with their birth date etched in, and a dash, and a "19" all ready for them, right next door. We grandkids knew this cemetery well, it was home to late night walks, hide and seek, tag and many other games.

Although the grounds are kept fairly well (the grass is cut and the weeds are trimmed), the cemetery's stones, dating back to 1836, are teetering on their bases. Most of the inscriptions on the old markers are illegible. I remember many of the phrases were very poetic and touching, which is something often missing from today's gravestones.

For some reason, probably grounded in funerals we attended as children, my brothers and sisters and I decided when we were just kids to be cremated when we died. I guess the Catholic Church frowns on this, though the Church has become a little more friendly to the idea. (I would say that the Church is 'warming up' to the idea of cremation, but that would be in bad taste, yes?). As an adult, with some concept of history and fully able to see what happens to a grave 150 or so years after it's filled, I'm still leaning toward cremation, not any time soon.

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