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Picking out mom's final resting place

November 5th, 2015 at 10:09 am

First, I am not trying to be morbid, but if you are younger than me you may not have had the need the make these sorts of arrangements. If you think it may trouble you to read this, please stop now.

At some point, especially if you're a woman, you likely will need to plan for someone's death and maybe, like me, you're wondering how these things really work.

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know my mother's still with us, but post-surgery with the Alzheimer's, she hasn't been doing so well and I guess her marked mental deterioration since Labor Day spurred me to start making some of these arrangements.

I called the local village cemetery in my hometown. If the photo feature on this site was working, I would happily insert photos so you could see just how beautiful this small cemetery is. It's very close to the center of town yet it's off a quiet dirt road. From the road you look upward to see the rising slope of the land and tombstones dating back to 1711 dotting the landscape.

The oldest stones are closest to the road and as you climb the hill, the dates become later and later. There are some beautiful old cedar trees here and there and an old black wrought iron gate. Some of Newtown's best known residents are buried here and the town historian sometimes does tours here.

I have admired this cemetery many times as I passed by on my walks through town. I picked it for my mom because I thought I might like to visit the gravesite from time to time for comfort, and I could almost walk here from my home.

Picking out and paying for the plot took all of 15 minutes. I spoke to the superintendent first on the phone, and we agreed to meet there today on my lunch break. (I'm working from home today. I've done a lot of things on my lunch break, but this is a first.) He was an old geezer and he met me just over the crest of the hill, further from the road.

I parked my car down by an adjacent park and walked up. My first thought was that this was such an old cemetery, and I remembered my mother's early comments when I brought her to live at Maplewood assisted living that everyone there was "so old." I wondered if she might have the same complaint about being buried in a cemetery with graves dating back to pre-Revolutionary times!

The cemetery superintendent rolled out a map of the gravesites. I chose the first site he showed me. He motioned with his hand that there were other plots I could choose from "over there," but honestly, it was all just one big open field and not much to distinguish it from where we stood, except for one thing.

As we stood there, I noticed the name on an adjacent stone of one of the 20 first-graders killed in the mass shooting here in 2012. The superintendent pointed out that there were, in fact, 4 or 5 of those young children buried right there, pretty much surrounding the grave site I had chosen.

Perhaps it would give me mother pleasure to know she was surrounded by little children, I don't know, but this is the site I chose. I signed the paperwork, got some in return and wrote out the check for $1300 ($900 for the plot which can hold 4 cremated remains, plus $400 to open and close the grave) on the gate of his pickup truck. I plan to have my own ashes buried there as well.

And that was pretty much it. I thought I was going to be all teary-eyed and weepy before, during and/or after, but I really just feel a little sad.

As I walked back down the hill toward the road and my car, there was a lovely view of the pond at the park across the street. It was an unusually warm November day and I could have picked a worse day to do this.

I am relieved to have done this and hope to get the tombstone inscribed and placed next. As I understand, you can get everything on the stone except for the final date, and have that done later.

After I deal with the tombstone, I guess I will call the local funeral home to deal with the cremation, funeral service, minister and urn choice.

Love you, mom.

7 Responses to “Picking out mom's final resting place”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    ((Hugs)) It's a fact of life. We all die. The area sounds wonderful. I hope it gives you peace when you visit.

  2. laura/deacon's wife Says:


    I'm a fan of finding the right resting spot, and I believe this is what you did. I regularly visit the cemetery, and the baby/small children spot isn't as sad as you might think. We might have had short times with children, but we remember with love and colorful balloons and things of the sort. I bet your mother would indeed like to be surrounded by children. Blessing to you today, as you plan for tomorrow. Smile

  3. Ima saver Says:

    It sounds like a beautiful resting place.

  4. frugaltexan75 Says:

    {{hugs}} It does sound like a beautiful spot to go and remember your mom at after she passes.

  5. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Sounds like good planning now while you are able than when you aren't from grief.

  6. ThriftoRama Says:

    I've had to do this before, and at the time, I was only 33, for my dad, right after his terminal cancer diagnosis. It's hard, but you are doing the right thing. It will be harder if you wait until your mother is gone, because then you have grief on top of scrambling to make last minute arrangements. Now, you have the time to think about what you both might want and to make it happen without haste.

    We also made advance arrangements with a funeral home, and had flowers picked out, casket, etc.

    Hug and prayers to you. I've been following your posts and rooting for you. It is so hard.

  7. Dido Says:

    Sounds like a lovely spot, and it will do you good to have her final resting place within walking distance and to get these administrative details behind you so that you don't need to deal with them when the actual time comes.

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