Friday, April 8, 2011

Cemetery Etiquette & a Thank you

Yes, that is what I am writing about today. Most people would find this discussion morbid and sad. I try to find the humor in everything in my life and when the worst event ever, losing my first husband, occurred, I found the humor as he would've wanted me to.

The reason I bring this up today? We are upon the 6th anniversary of my husband Steve's 1st wife's death. Yes, Steve is widowed as well. He received a notice from the cemetery she is buried at asking if he wanted to plant summer flowers. The price for these said flowers that will cover a very tiny section of her grave was an insane amount of money. If he wants to have the flowers planted, go for it. I would never say to not do so. However, we all know that the cemeteries and the people who run them play on your emotions and take advantage of you and tell you that "if you really loved them...". PUHLEASE.  Just like all the mail I've received telling me I can get a deal and save money if I have my headstone created now with my name and date of birth. Oh. Ok. Sure. I'd love to go to the cemetery and see my headstone just sitting there waiting for me. Awesome idea.

The first time I took all 3 boys to the cemetery to visit their dad was rather amusing....for us. Probably not for the families holding dedications that day, but, I'm sure they have forgotten about it by now. (or not, they don't know my name) Simon was about 14 months old...he really had no idea what we were doing. We stopped before hand to buy balloons and flowers since it was Allan's birthday the day of our visit. As we were driving from the store to the cemetery, Simon ended up letting his balloon fly out the sunroof of the car.  We got to the cemetery, parked our car and got out. Now, this may sound bad, but, it's always a process to find his grave. I  mean I know the general area of where he is. He faces Walter E.  Smithe furniture and is near a big tree. (Although the tree is way bigger now than it used to be, which also leads to confusion sometimes) So, the kids and I start walking with our balloons and flowers (looking like we were there for a big party) and of course we are a bit confused as to where to find Allan.  So, the kids are running and galloping all over and laughing and giggling, because to them, this just looks like a big park.  I look over to see a family holding a dedication. They are all very serious and stern and here we are laughing it up. They must have thought we were insane.  So, eventually, we found Allan and left him our "birthday gifts.  Were we being inappropriate? Yes. But by now you should know we always are. But were we really? No, I don't think so. My kids were SO young when their dad died. And where are the rules for how one should act in a cemetery? Or how one should handle death? Everyone has to handle these things in their own very personal way. There is no right or wrong. No one can tell another person how to mourn, how to grieve or to move on with life. We cope with things through laughter. Every single day.

Steve copes with laughter as well. He and I have, together, laughed our asses off with everything that has come our way. And I think the reason we "get" each other so well is because of the tragic losses we have suffered.  I think that's why we found each other. I think there was a stronger power, a force, that brought us together, because, I don't know if we really could be with people who haven't been thru what we have been thru.  So, there is a rainbow at the end of the storm. And I owe a thank you to Steve's late wife Michelle. She helped in creating the person he is today. I think that part of why he is so compassionate and loving, kind and caring is because of what he went thru with her and her illness. So, I thank her for all that she did for him, even if it wasn't done in the way that anyone would've planned or chosen. May she rest in peace.


  1. Beautifully written. I know what it's like to try and fine the person who I am looking to see. My grandparents are buried in a easy spot, however, I can never find my very dear friend. Your mom knows actually where she is. But, I am never lucky trying to find her. You and Steve are terrific pair!

  2. You know, there is no "right way" to be at a cemetery. You have to do what helps you mourn, celebrate, and cope. Why shouldn't the kids laugh and play around and generally enjoy life. FWIW, it took me a couple of years to really remember where my dad's grave is. Beautiful tribute to Steve, his late wife, and your spirit.

  3. Kerry, as always, you have put your thoughts down on paper in a truly outstanding way. It still hurts me to actually see all of this in writing, but I know that it must help you. I've heard it's great to put your emotions down on paper (or computer). It helps get it off your chest. I also feel that you and Steve were put together for a reason. Yes, he is a very caring person, as are you. May Michelle rest in peace. I'm sure she is, knowing that you and Steve are taking care of all the kids togetherm as well as, taking care of each other.