Cemeteries offer a special place to connect with our past.
We can feel a sense of belonging (especially if there is a family plot) and have a lasting way to honor those close to us with cultural, religious, and patriotic symbols.
Today’s expansive, formally designed and landscaped memorial parks offer visitors a rich experience with walkways and gardens to enjoy. Generally a quiet place, anyone can find peace and a moment to reflect during a cemetery visit.
People say they find comfort from their visits and are eased through the grieving process. Lucy Kalanithi wrote in an epilogue to her husband’s book, WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR, that she visits his grave often, bringing a small bottle of Madeira wine. “Each time I pour some out on the grass for Paul.” She describes how Paul’s grave “…looks west, over five miles of green hill crests, to the ocean.”
Full body, in-ground burial is not the only option. Caskets can be placed in mausoleums, or in crypts easily viewed from outdoors. Those who choose cremation can appreciate a scattering garden at a cemetery, or a niche in a columbarium.
Is it tradition in your family to have an in-ground burial? Is that what you desire most? Then it is important to have that discussion now, while you can express your wishes clearly. Does the idea of being below ground bother you?
Make your preference known to your family. Don’t leave it to them to guess.
If one spouse favors cremation, and the other prefers burial, arrangements can be made to have both interred in the same space, so that both wishes are met. And the family need only visit one place.
Talk about your plans now, and for couples, choose your final resting place while you are both living. Should it have a hilltop view? Or be a private garden with a bench? Will a quiet indoor setting be more comforting?
It is wise to make the purchase early to get exactly what you want.