Someone has a new hobby called Find a Grave. I probably won’t do it half justice to describe it. He goes around town visiting cemeteries to photograph the burial sites for people from the internet who request such pictures.  Many of the graves in his photos are handmade crosses or cheap slate upon which faded words are handwritten. Often the graves are simple small metallic discs with a number. Many graves are unmarked; located through cemetery records. Some are lost; they know ‘he’ is out there somewhere, but no one now knows where.

These graves choke me. These people were once somebody’s loved ones (or so I hope): now they are all but forgotten. Columbariums are no better – rows upon rows of shelves with boxes of containing the ashes of people once upon a time unique.  Now they are faceless, a mere number in a record book.

It all makes me think of my death, and what will become of my remains. I avoid asking Someone where does he want to be buried as I hope to die before him to avoid this painful question.

For seven generations my ancestors are all buried in the same cemetery. Can you imagine? I could join them; it is a sort of Spo-Vahalla, although it is not located in Astragard but in Pontiac, Michigan.

Since I was a boy I fancied being cremated. I hoped someone would spread my ashes on the shore of Lake Michigan, at sunset, at Point Betsie Lighthouse.  This feels like a sort of transformation; I would become a part of the shoreline of Lake Michigan, a notion that is a comfort.

On the refrigerator is a magnet of this lighthouse. When I see it, it reminds me:

‘Some day you will be here. I wait for you.  Momento mori *.

My religion states I am supposed to keep my ashes together and properly buried, not scattered about. Either I have to be a good boy and follow orders, or create scandal and go with the Point Betsie proposal. I haven’t decided. It sounds appalling, being another on a shelf in an urn, a number.  I would rather be returned to Nature.  There will be no Find a Grave photo of my gravesite, for it will be the World.  No one will remember me, but this feels better than being forgotten in a graveyard.

* Latin lingo for “Remember your death”.

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