February 9, 2024

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If you are of a certain age you may have grown up as a “free range child”. Children born after the second world war, mid-century modern kids, were very likely to participate in unorganized free play. Meaning, they roamed a geographic territory, outlined by their parents, unfettered. They played with other neighbor children until the dads came home or the bell was rung or some other prearranged signal that meant it was time to go home and wash up for dinner.

This free-range system left the door wide open for children to have all kinds of adventures. Arm and arm with a best friend, a cousin, or a brother or sister, they creek walked, caught tadpoles, made clover chains, left pennies to flatten on the railroad tracks and … they walked the cemetery.

If you were one of these kids, you knew the spell of the cemetery. Maybe you remember it still? Cool shade from tall trees. A feeling of calm reverence. As you walked the rows you avoided stepping on the graves. Inspecting the head stones, you looked for the person who lived the longest. You may also have been surprised to find the marker of a child who died at about your age. A beloved wife, mother of six, a loving husband, people who served in the armed forces, touching the carvings on the markers you understood the value of their life. As a child you could feel the presence of the souls. The cemetery was a mysterious, yet comforting place.

A cemetery is still a very special place. It is a final resting place. Knowing that a family member is buried in a peaceful and serene location brings comfort to family members. It’s nice to have a place to sit quietly and remember a mother, father, husband, wife, family member or a friend. Visiting the grave of a loved one feels like getting a hug.

Today, somewhere in the neighborhood of one half of Americans choose full body burial as their final disposition. In addition, many others who prefer to be cremated choose to have their ashes buried or placed in a mausoleum at the cemetery. Tucking a deceased loved one into a safe and serene green space gives family members a sense of security. Family members may live close by or at a great distance, they may move hither and yon, but they always know where the one they loved is resting.

As you plan for your own funeral, final disposition, and where you will rest, speak with your Family Service Advisor about the options the cemetery offers. Whatever your family’s choice, the Catholic Cemetery Association has the sacred and consecrated options so important to our faith.


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