Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Conversations in a Cemetary

Yesterday, Brayden, Kendrie, and I were driving home from some errands when Kendrie asked if we could stop by the cemetery and see my dad’s grave. My mom was waiting on me to come home and go with her and my sister to order the marker, so there’s no tombstone yet, but the “dirt-mound” of the grave is still clearly visible. Plus, in this cemetery in my small hometown, our family and extended family has an entire row that is taken up by my dad (and someday my mom), my grandparents and various aunts, uncles and cousins, so it’s always interesting to walk the row and look at the names and dates, and discuss how we’re related to each person. I'd like to think I'm giving my children a wonderful dose of family history and a sense of heritage and pride, but something tells me they're just looking at all the grass and thinking what a great place it would be to play football.

Then, at the back of the cemetery, there is a beautiful marker shaped like a piano that my kids always ask to drive by and see. So, the outing, and the drive through the cemetery, although brief, sparked conversation and questions the entire way home. And I thought I would share a few of the comments with you because quite frankly, even on the subject of death, these kids crack me up.

Kendrie: “Mom, but how do they get the people out of the ground and into the tombstones once they turn to dust?”

Kendrie: “Do they wear underwear in the tubes?”
Brayden: “They’re not called tubes, they’re called coffits.”

Brayden: “Oh, look at those two teddy bear tombstones. This must be the baby-corner of the cemetery.”

Kendrie: “Who plants the grass on the dirt over the bodies? Where's Grandpa's grass?”

And my personal favorite conversation:

Kendrie: “If the people that bury the people die, who buries them?”
Brayden: “They must just keep hiring people.”
Kendrie: “I bet they have a digging contest and whoever is the fastest wins.”
Brayden: “Yes, but probably you have to be under 40, otherwise you’re too old to dig very fast.”

Something tells me my dad was listening to all this and laughing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie - My Gran used to call our local cemetary Gods Garden and it was one of my favourite places to go - still is - and I agree it can be a place of humour and puting life into perspective...and great wildlife watching, our local is fabulous for woodpeckers. Here's a ditty (in very bad taste) that my husband used to resite - thought your gang might like it..."It isn't the cough that carries you off, its the coffin they carry you off in!" Trying saying it really fast, it gets very silly. Love and prayers for you all.

Anonymous said...

My dad died of cancer about 10 years ago, while I was pregnant with his first grandchild. My kids, now 9 and 6 help take care of the flowers at my dad's site. They love filling the buckets and watering all the dry flowers they can find. Although, often I hear them "reminding" each other to "walk over here...your steppin' on that dead guy." I have to admit, it's nice to have a reason to smile while at the cemetary.

Michael said...

I spent many an afternoon as a child with my grandfater visiting the graves of his parents and grand parents. The stories he shared were priceless.

Jeanette said...

I notice Kellen didn't have alot to say...he must have been thinking of football! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie!
I never really liked going to cemetaries- but since i just got my license about 6 months ago, my grandma calls me to take her to the cemetary to see my grandpa and her parents. We (i feel terrible saying this) can never remember where my great aunt joyce is buried and so we drove around. We end up in the newer section of the cemetary, very small tombstones- somthing told me they were for children. We drove up and there is this big sign that read "BABY LAND." Now who on earth came up with that name- if you ask me it sounds like an amusment park...

Tammy said...

no comment about the cute kids' sayings but...
I had to "accidentally" discover you through ErinH's site. I am going to book mark your site on mine, so i dont lose you...miss ya!

Tammy in VA