Monday, October 01, 2012

My resting place

My little Episcopal church was founded in 1789, a little wooden church on a hill. The original wooden structure was replaced by a stone church in the middle of the nineteenth century.  The church has historic landmark status (my friends in Europe find this hilarious), as does the surrounding churchyard. Among the worthies buried there are one Aaron Chew, for whom the Chews Landing area is named. He was a Revolutionary War hero, as the story goes. One of his buddies, who contributed a few pence (but not many) to the church building fund, was a guy named G. Washington. Read more about the church and its history, if you're interested,  here.

We're very proud of our little churchyard, but I had assumed that by this date all the plots were spoken for, if not actually inhabited. Not so! There is, in fact, some real estate still left there. And J. and I are now the proud owners of two plots, near the southern churchyard fence, under some towering trees, and with an unbroken view of a neighboring above-ground swimming pool (I did mention that this is in suburbia, right? It was the swimming pool or the convenience store. We chose the pool. J. wanted a quiet spot).

This mortality business does not usually bother me, but I have to admit to a few qualms. Lying in a suburban churchyard was not part of my plans. I took seriously that I was dust, and that to dust I would return, via the crematorium, which saves money, space on the planet, and family fuss. Being buried just fails to appeal to me on so many levels, some rational  and environmental, and some irrational (such as claustrophobia).  The notion of being pumped up with preservatives and dressed up nicely in something festive that I would not have worn in life seems ... distressing. Not to mention the eventual descent into a little puddle of nasty biochemical soup.So much for ashes.

So I have clearly not grasped the romance of the matter. J. says he wants us to lie next to each other forever (or, "until we rise," I like to kid him. He doesn't believe in this, so I have to wonder what the attraction to funerary splendor really means for him).

In any event, I have caved in to his wishes.  My children promise to tuck the various boxes of dog cremains in with me, so I have that consolation, I guess.

Of course, if J. dies first, I'm off the hook (heh heh! Just kidding??)! I have always been sort of interested in going to a Body Farm.  We'll wait and see, I guess.



Anne M. said...

Making decisions and plans while everyone is healthy is a wonderful gift to your family. You have time to make thoughtful, informed decisions. Sounds like a lovely resting place in a location that has meaning for you - well, maybe not the swimming pool but the church yard of YOUR church. Well done :)

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