Memorial Day is right around the corner. A time for thinking about cemeteries and flags and flowers. A time to reflect on those who've gone before us and decide how we can best honor them. Possibly a good time to ponder over how we ourselves would like to be remembered.
Some honorees are traditional in their ceremonies or may establish their own traditions. Some of these approaches are just plain different.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849( was first buried in an unmarked, weed-covered grave over which the sexton later placed a small block of sandstone with the number 90 engraved into the stone. Later, a marble headstone was commissioned. Because of the immense weight of these memorials, the place where they were carved was next to the railway yards to facilitate easy transportation. Unfortunately, a train ran off the tracks and through the monument yard, destroying Poe's marble headstone before it could be moved for installation at his grave.
About 1949, and possibly earlier, on the anniversary of Poe's birth, an anonymous person would enter the Baltimore cemetery and leave a bottle of cognac and three roses on Poe's grave. This tradition continued until the last official visit in 2009.
|Marily Monroe's crypt|
For three successive years, DiMaggio had red roses delivered to Marilyn's tomb. Over time, her stone became discolored from lipstick imprints of kisses from fans.
|Al's grave in Mt. Carmel Cemetery|
Photo by JOE M200
The large grey upright headstone in Mt. Carmel with the name Capone carved in it is for the Capone family. Al has his own small flat stone nearby. People still leave various objects on his grave.
|Jesse James grave in Kearney, MO cemetery|
|1967 photo of the French graves taken from a Huey |
by Jim Bracewell, 229th Avn Bn
In a cemetery near the New Orleans French Quarter you can sometimes read a brief history or a comment about the occupant of certain graves. A headstone might label the resident as "the consort of" a particular person, or might state that the occupant died of a certain disease. Or, you might see three graves in a row and discover that the occupants had once been involved in a love triangle and eventually ended up in side-by-side tombs.
So, how do you plan to be remembered? Planned anything poignant to be engraved on your stone? Or even possibly safer, are your ashes hopefully taking a flier in some special place? Speaking of which, I had an ex-partner who asked a Sheriff's Deputy he played golf with to scatter his ashes on a certain golf course. A year after my ex-partner's death, the deputy was cleaning out his own closet and discovered he still had the ashes. So much for making plans.
At this point, please feel free to share any graveyard trivia you might have.