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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

G Is For Grave

I grew up in a culture that believed we have a responsibility to our dead ancestors. Attending to the grave was one of those called-to-action kinds of things, and some time it was made to feel guilty if you don't comply with this written rule.

As I have mentioned in previous post, my dad passed away almost 23 years ago, and he had been laid to rest in a cemetery very close to our home.  As his children, we have a duty to take care of his grave, although there is nothing we can do much.  However, the connection seemed visible and eternal between two worlds.


There are people who also believed in visiting the graves of their loved ones.  I saw them all the time at the cemetery, and they were more of regular visitors than I ever was.  They trimmed the weed around the head stones, planted flowers, watered the flowers, and plucked out the weeds.  I had to say they did it with love, not because they had too.

I found comfort in visiting my dad's grave, even if it was only for a few times a year.  In the summer I took my children to plant flowers at his grave, and visited at least once a week to water the plants.  While doing this activity, my children began to ask about the grandfather they've never met.  This was when my heart feels all fuzzy inside.


Strange as it might sound, but cemetery is very interesting to me.  I like reading what was written on head stones, the birth day, and the day of passing of individuals.  When facing with trouble that seemed so enormous, I visited my dad's grave and talked to him, knowing full well that he was not there in the dirt, but his spirit was.

I used to think that our tradition is old fashion, but these last few years have opened up my eyes, especially when my children developed a habit of wanting to know more about my dad, and learned the ways grandma would do at the grave. I find the term "gone but not forgotten", fits this extremely well.  Do you visit the grave of a loved one?

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19 comments:

  1. My father passed away 14 years, we only came to his grave once a year, that's is his birthday.

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  2. We have visited my FIL often this year. He lived a long life, but we still weren't ready for him to go.

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  3. My mom used to take us all the time when we were kids to the cemetery. I unfortunately haven't visited it so much since my dad died. I always want to go but for some reason don't. I don't know what it is.

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  4. I find it so hard to visit my son's grave. Maybe one day, it'll get a little easier, but for not yet..

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  5. My mom passed away 7 years ago. I am ashamed to say I have been to her grave only once. I can't bear to go, it brings such sorrow and I go into a terrible state of depression for months. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, they all break my heart terribly to be without her.

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  6. I grew up in a family culture that believes in visiting graves, too. It is a way to know your past and thus know your future.

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  7. I have a fascination with cemetaries, too. I photograph them all the time. I plan to do a post on that someday.

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  8. We do visit my FIL and MIL's graves every time we go to Utah. I actually enjoy cemeteries and find them very peaceful.

    =)

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  9. My father passed over 20 yrs. ago. He was cremated and I had no say so in any of this. Thank you for sharing your post and feelings. Blessings.

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  10. Lovely post!
    My Dad wanted his ashes spread at the Grand Canyon. I have never been there. His wife took them there last year..and I know that when I get there one day...I'll be overcome with emotion.

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  11. My grandmother used to take me to the cemetery to put flowers on my grandfather's grave. I can still see that spot in my mind.

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  12. That is a very sweet tradition, visiting your father's grave with your children. Back when I lived in California, I use to visit my grandfather's grave a lot too. Sometimes, when I feel really sad or troubled, I go and sit by his grave just so that I can feel comforted by his presence. My family also visits his grave quite often just to clean off the weed and grass.

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  13. I used to visit my grandfather's grave every so often to chat. After my dad died, I spent quite a bit of time there early on. I love the cemetery near us for its age and charm. No one I've even known is buried there so it's an easy one to stroll through. The cemetery where my forebears are buried? Not a place I feel that same level of comfort.

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  14. Those Queen Anne's lace seeds are so fresh and bright!

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  15. I love this tradition. It is so important to 'remember' in whatever fashion we choose.

    I agree, with you, that although this seems old-fashioned to some, it feels so 'right'.

    Thank you for sharing such an intersting stop with us this week for Alphabe-Thursday.

    This post really touched my heart.

    A+

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  16. Glad that you have been taking care of Dad's grave. It's probably a peaceful way to be with our parents.

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  17. its nice how you look after and maintain the grave to keep his memory alive.

    i will do the same when i lose someone close. nice that your kids want to know more about their granddad too.

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  18. They are gone but not forgotten. I find cemeteries peaceful and beautiful. Our souls have gone on..

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  19. I, too, find graveyards interesting. I'm late getting to the g posts, but better late than never, right?!

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