Friday, November 4, 2016

ALL SOULS: EAST L.A.'S CALVARY CEMETERY

MOM'S BURIAL, SEPTEMBER 2012
NORTH HAMPTON, NH

This week's arts and culture piece begins like this:

What with the Solemnity of All Saints, the commemoration of All Souls, and the many recent local Day of the Dead celebrations, my thoughts have turned, as they so often do, to burial plans.

Before passing away from Alzheimer’s in 2012, my sainted Protestant mother took me aside to tell me of her own interment desires. With a dreamy look in her eye, she produced a moldering newspaper clipping she’d clearly been poring over for years: an ad for cut-rate caskets. “Look, here’s a nice beaverboard model,” she enthused. 

She’d worked it all out. No flowers (people might have to spend money). No cortège to the gravesite, just family (people might have to waste time). No eulogy, just a simple service (people might have to think of something nice to say about her).

I understood completely her impulse to avoid both the death industry and  making an unnecessary show. Personally, I would like to be laid to rest in a plain pine box beneath a live oak.  That would be after, however, a high Mass. I’m with Servant of God Dorothy Day, who once said, “If I am reincarnated, I hope I come back an opera singer!”


LITTLE BROTHER JOE AND NEPHEW ALLEN

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a pretty tough place to wander around.

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  2. Thanks for sharing a bit about your mom and her simple little request.
    Her request make so much sense. I think if I could I would simply be buried in a hole under a tree- no box, seems like such a waste to me really.I love that we have a day dedicated to all those who have passed on as Catholics.I moved into a beautiful cemetery this year with my son and we love living in the care taker house. It keeps my thoughts on the here and now, on gratitude and also in curiosity and wonder about the people I see who visit and those who have passed on. I go for walks a lot and read the names on the gravestones and see the dates they lived and for how long. I pray for them and ask them to pray for me. There's a great deal of wildlife in cemeteries- the one I live in has all kinds of wild life and so many trees. Were all going to go and none of us can avoid it or truly know what waits for us but I find it comforting to read a little in the bible and find it fascinating to think about a new heaven and a new earth and how every tear will be wiped away- behold God makes All things new. I'll end it on that hopeful promise.

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  3. Sharon Tate is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. The place is 200 acres and my sister from Oregon REALLY wanted to see her burial site. The woman in the office graciously whispered where to look. They aren't supposed to tell you. It still took about 30 minutes to find. My sister went back to Oregon happy. Hugs to you, Heather!

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  4. Sharon Tate is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. The place is 200 acres and my sister from Oregon REALLY wanted to see her burial site. The woman in the office graciously whispered where to look. They aren't supposed to tell you. It still took about 30 minutes to find. My sister went back to Oregon happy. Hugs to you, Heather!

    ReplyDelete

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