Muses On Memorial Day.......  

Shameless_Biotch 49F
177 posts
5/29/2006 5:33 pm

Last Read:
6/29/2006 5:39 am

Muses On Memorial Day.......

As a sociologist, I know that how a society handles their dead says much about them....It is one of the things we can usually study about a given group of individuals. Oftentimes, the only traces of a once flourishing and magnificent civilization are their gravesites.Through peacetime and war, feast and famine, we humans die and those left behind deal with it in different ways.

Do they worship and revere their ancestors? make special shrines to them?
Does the society put aside special places for their dead?Do they perform certain rituals over the bodies?
Do they have time to "say a few words" and maybe mark the grave, or just bury their deceased and move quickly on?
Did they leave the bodies of other groups, an enemy in a battle, maybe, to be plundered and ransacked of their possesions?Or do they bury special valuables in the grave with the body?
Do they perhaps invoke their spirit world to guide the dead to another, better place?Valhalla or heaven, paradise or hell?
Or do they just shoot them in the head, alongside the road and leave them to be picked apart by the buzzards?Or in mass, anonymous graves? Or in gas chambers?

My family isn't what you would call sentimental about our dead. We usually bury our deceased loved ones with pomp and circumstance, or according to their last wishes, but rarely go visit thier graves, on the whole. I was never sentimental myself, until my grandmother, who helped raise me, died a few years ago. Now sometimes I drive all the way to St. Louis to just sit there, on her grave for a few hours, telling of what has been happening( the good stuff anyway).I find myself spending way too much money sending flowers to her grave, flowers I will never see.
I watch the Mississippi river make it's lazy way by the National Cemetary where her ashes are buried. You can see it from the hill where her gravesite is.She had the priveledge and honor of the option of being buried there, as the widow of a WWII Vet. He is buried there, too, at least what remained of him, after his body decomposed for years in the jungles of the Philiipines. His grave is a communal one. His plane was shot down, and all lives on it were lost, and since they didn't find it for several years, and they didn't have DNA testing back then, the Army just put all the biological parts in a sack and sent it to Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO. There are parts from all six crewmen.Nana is buried down the same row, but not in the same grave as my grandfather and his crew.
This man died in 1945. I never met him, yet as I go there, I cannot help do the same ritual everytime.....I park the car down the row, and walk past Arthur's grave first, pullout any stray weeds around, thank him for his service, and continue walking til I get to the tree that Nana is buried under. I sit there, talking for a minute, maybe smoke a joint. Sometimes I cry because I miss her. I understand why I would have a connection to my grandmother's grave, I knew her, she was a big part of my life and I strive to be more like her.......But why do I feel anything about her husband's marker?He died 20 years before I was born.......

I hope someone at the cemetary put out those little American flags on the graves today...I love those!


TheCliticals 36F/F

5/29/2006 6:34 pm

Very touching.


lightswitch1963 70M/54F

6/4/2006 10:11 am

Mr light here I love this blog it touch my heart, i came to visit after reading a respoance you made on sweetpickle blog.....Blogland need many many more such as yourself.


6ft34u 59M
43 posts
6/5/2006 5:42 pm

i have dealt with many deaths in my life... family, cowokers and friends... My mother passed when i was young and my father several years later... i do not get to visit them.... i guess life for me just goes on... i do remember them dearly and think of them constantly...I do have one cousin that passed a few years back... he was greatly respected in his neighbrohood.. attendees at his funeral ranged from his mechanics to politicans. I was amazed at the vast number of people that came to pay their respects to the family... eventually his sister was able to get the city to name the street where he worked for over 30 years after him...


Shameless_Biotch 49F

6/5/2006 6:33 pm

Wow, I guess I left out "do they name streets after their dead?" on my list!
Thanks for the comment

~S


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