A little grave shopping…

This Saturday my wife and I will be going grave shopping.

No, nothing’s up, at least not that I know of.

It’s just time, what with all the potential moves we may make and having no children, to take care of these things. Once it’s handled it’s handled and then we can just get on with life.

We’re going to be buried, some day, outside of a little town called Vilard in western Minnesota. Vilard is a few miles from Osakis, Minnesota, where my wife’s family is from and by coincidence one of her friend’s family has a smal cemetery on a hill by a lake out in the country. The plots are inexpensive, a bonus these days, and the pictures of the site are, well, picturesque.

So off we go this Saturday on a road trip through the prairie to see our new and simultaneously last earthly home. It’ll be a whole day thing, seeing the site, seeing the sights, driving past my wife’s family farm, and then, perhaps a treat at the Tip Top Dairy Bar in Osakis, one of the last places around these parts to still serve a chocolate and vanilla swirl cone.

Now we never somehow got around to having a family plot. We were busy, and distant, and never that close to each other to ever get together and decide where to be at life’s end. So we’re on our own for these things. Mom and Dad will be one place, brothers and sister somewhere else, and probably some stranger with a lawn mower to look out after things in the years to come.

In a way that sounds kind of lonely and I think about that sometimes. There is a romantic in me that would wish to have someone come and drop by every once in a while and plant some flowers or say a prayer or light a candle (after all I am Orthodox and we go for that candle thing). That probably won’t happen and my guess is that people coming to see thier loved ones will look at our plots and wonder what kind of strangers would pick that place, a town where no one knows thier name, to rest. So I’ll probably just sink into the ground with my gravestone following after me and one day the letters will be worn off by the prairie wind and the world will have completely passed me by.

That would be a kind of hell if I didn’t believe. But I do and even those moments of reflection where I understand that all things pass, myself included, are somehow changed. I will be apart from friends and family when my time comes and yet I do believe in the communion of saints and the resurrection of the dead and so I also presume some sort of togetherness in that life which is to come and know that wherever I finally rest will be, in eternal terms, just a moment.

So its on to Vilard in just a few days to be with family and friends and buy a pair of graves. Life is full and very busy and I imagine that someday I’ll need the rest. And what better place to let the rest of the world go by then out on the Minnesota prairie, on a hill, by a lake, waiting beyond time for an angelic call.

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