My mother and father bought their grave plots many years ago, soon after marrying they bought them on a payment plan and paid them off in 1962. They now were 'land owners' of a particular kind. They would now always have clean skies above, trees and flowers all around and stone sculptures and perpetual groundskeepers and many visitors, some familiar and some total strangers just passing by, but they now had a place to call their very own.
After my dad's funeral we did not all drive out to the cemetery, it was too far and many family members had long drives ahead of them to all the different states they came from. We all met at mom's house (formally mom and dad's place). We had a wake to attend and create. The stories came fast and at times with such furious remembrance that the house was full of loud and laughing voices living with the life that once was here with us. Soon people had to leave on their return home journeys, we held each other and made quick promises to stay in touch and then it was all over but it is never truly over is it?
My brother Duncan and my mom finally went to see where dad is buried, they said it was a nice place. But she does not want to end up there and has been adamant about that for some time now. Mom wants to be cremated and have her ashes spread around some trees and flowers. I don't think my siblings are happy about this and mom has made me promise to do as she wishes.
"As you wish Mom."
So my wife and I have finally come up with a plan that I think she will like, I don't care what my siblings think, it is mom's wish and I will grant her final one as best I can.
We have thought about this and discussed all the options. We could bring mom here to the farm but that would be a bit selfish I think, mom doesn't live here and neither do my siblings. Plus I don't want mom mixed with manure as if she were just compost.
So I think down in Pittsburgh somewhere close to dad and the family.
If we plant her in her yard then we would be giving her the historical place to be at but that property would end up going to a stranger and mom would be left as an afterthought.
Go up a hill and let her float outward? Sounds nice but it sounds like pollution to me, mom hates 'messy'.
Spread her ashes over one of the three rivers that ends in the sea? Sounds good for some but mom hates to travel.
An urn on a mantle? No, mom hates to be cooped up and she has no interest in becoming a goddess, so no urn.
So here is our plan, it's a bit tricky but we are "bound" and determined.
In Pittsburgh they have a wonderful place called Phipp's Conservatory with many towering rooms of glass with plants, flowers and trees in each from many climates. It's perfect because it is a place we all loved to go to with our parents as kids, it has perpetual groundskeepers, a wonderful indoor climate, rare and exotic plants and trees, there are always many visitors, the conservatory will be there for many many years to come and we would all know where she is at all times. Mom would get to stay in her own plant cathedral. I think she would like that very much.
Ah but it's a public place and we have some problems with internment in public places don't we?
Well the Mrs and I have got that worked out also.
Remember the movie "The Great Escape"?
Well, they had to hide all the dirt from their tunneling and digging. They had socks filled with dirt tied to their legs and as they walked around they would open up the bottom of the sock with a string mechanism and spread the dirt anywhere at their leisure.
"As you wish Mom."