I enjoy visiting cemeteries. In spite of their spooky reputation, I find them to be places of peace and serenity.
Just over two years ago my mother-in-law, Kathy, passed away following a courageous battle against cancer. Aside from losing my grandparents, the loss of my mother-in-law was my closest experience with death in my family. We really miss her.
At the time of Kathy’s death, my father-in-law, Pete, purchased a burial plot in a beautiful location in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park. The picturesque site is shaded by a full-grown tree and offers a spectacular view of Mount Olympus less than two miles from Kathy’s childhood home.
With the purchase of Kathy’s plot, Pete also acquired his own plot beside hers, along with a grave marker that includes both of their names. His name is missing a death date, and we hope it stays that way for a long time. While he has peace of mind knowing his burial arrangements have been secured, Pete will often return from a visit to Kathy’s grave site and tell us how strange it feels to walk through the cemetery and see his own name. He says it reminds him of the scene from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” when Scrooge is shown his headstone by the voiceless Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come.
One of the many things I love about my father-in-law is that he is always thinking ahead and continually thinking of others. His primary concern is almost always for his children (my wife and her brother) and their families. He is also a sucker for a good deal. With those endearing qualities driving him, Pete could not stop with the purchase of just two burial plots.
Shortly after Kathy’s funeral, Pete handed me a folder containing documents from Wasatch Lawn. Unsure as to why he would want me to have copies of his burial plot proof of purchase, I asked what he wanted me to do with these papers. His response surprised me. Excitedly he told me that he had purchased an additional two burial plots directly adjacent to his and that they were available on a “first-come, first-served” basis. “The first two to ‘go’ get the plots,” he said.
Now, I’m a pretty competitive person by nature. However, this is one competition in which I am content placing “outside the money.” Not only am I satisfied with not winning, for the first time in my life my sights are set on a last-place finish.
I enjoy visiting cemeteries. In spite of their spooky reputation, I find them to be places of peace and serenity. In this issue of Community, Brooke Wilhelmsen explores some of the area’s most beautiful and historic cemeteries, which are not only memorials to people who have passed, but also wonderfully fascinating and evocative pieces of history.
I frequently hear radio ads promoting the benefits of planning your own funeral. I also recognize it’s ultimately not a question of if, but when, as it relates to my need for a place to lay my body to rest when my days on this earth are done. I’m just not sure I’m ready to acknowledge that I could be the “winner” of a spot six feet below the beautifully manicured lawns at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park … at least not yet.
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