The Plot

Last week I took one of the final steps in the journey of Kevin’s death.  I purchased a cemetery plot.  I had attempted on numerous occasions to visit the cemetery and make this arrangement, but it never seemed to be the right time.  Finally it was and I took my daughter and we met with the cemetery director.

Like most things associated with death, there was a cost.  I could choose a plot in the new section of the cemetery, where the trees are immature and the gardens, although nice, don’t have that sense of establishment.  Alternately, I could look at the available plots in the “old” section of the cemetery, of which there were two.  The “old” section plots are considered premium and typically sell rather quickly.

I was curious as to how there could be any spots available in the old section at all, and was informed that plots periodically are sold back to the cemetery when a surviving spouse or a family member elects to be buried elsewhere.  I was fortunate that at present they had two, oftentimes there are none.

Once we saw the available plots in the old section the decision was made, it was just a formality looking at the new section.  One of the available plots was located under a huge oak tree and beside a very modest grave where the headstone remembered a young man who had died in World War II.  This man’s widow had moved far away with her children and she had just recently sold the vacant plot, her plot beside her young husband, back to the cemetery.   I bought the plot by our brave soldier.  Although a single grave, the plot can hold one casket and two urns or up to six urns.  Since it is in the old section of the cemetery we have no height restrictions for the headstone – which of course will be the next purchase.

I wish that when Kevin was alive we had been proactive in purchasing a plot.   I think he would have liked the one I chose, I know that he always preferred the old section of the cemetery.  The cost for a plot in the old versus the new section of the cemetery is about 50% more, but it never was about the money with Kevin, it was always about getting what you wanted or were happy with – the money was incidental.

Prior to visiting the cemetery I had built this event up in my mind – needlessly.  It was emotional, but not nearly as much as I had expected.  Perhaps this is because it was a functional visit, a transaction at this point. I suspect that when the time comes to inter Kevin’s remains it will be quite difficult. The headstone, which will likely be the biggest expense here, can be mounted at the gravesite whenever I am ready.

That will be the next activity in this process.  At Christmas, when all the children are home, we will discuss the wording they would like on the headstone – because this will be for them and their children, for the future generations to remember the past.  For me it will be my touchstone reminding me that my reality is forever altered but my past is set in stone.