Tuesday, August 30, 2011


  What do you do with an extra pair of cemetery lots?  What an odd inquiry, but that  was   the question I received this week.   My friends elderly parents had changed their minds and decided against being laid to rest here in Broken Arrow at the famous and beautiful Floral Haven Cemetery.

Evidently the father had purchased the "funeral plan" several years ago in preparation for their final home.  At the time he was convinced that "pay now, dig later" was the best financial move he could make.  Several thousand dollars were  involved which included two beautiful tombstones and all the funeral trimmings required. His intentions were noble, he didn't want his family to have to worry about such details when the time came to make such decisions.  It's a lovely thought and the whole idea works well for many families.

Things changed!

As  their age increased and their health decreased the couple moved several states away from OK to be near their  only daughter, my friend.  Their new life  in their golden years was "set in stone" near beloved grandsons.  Relocating was absolutely the right decision.

So,  how DO you get rid of a "pre-paid" funeral?  I suggested that she negotiate with the cemetery, but she tried that and they declined to get involved. Living a thousand miles away from the property complicates things for her as well.


Newspaper ads?  Online ads?  Craigs list?  Is there a category for the "afterlife" on Craigs list?

How about a raffle?  A door prize?  A donation to charity?  An auction?  A Christmas gift?  Can you put up a FOR SALE sign in the cemetery? Are there real estate agents for  such tiny properties?

Someone out there NEEDS this piece of land at the Floral Haven.  There must be one or better yet two folks, that have a goal of lying side by side in that beautiful place throughout eternity.  It is very important for some families to be able to visit, lay flowers, pray over, sing songs and remember their loved ones at a physical place. 

Another friend recently shared her experience of her deceased girlfriend, Phyllis.  She'd attended the funeral at the chapel on sight, but everyone left before the casket was lowered into the ground and therefore she never knew the exact sight of burial. For 15 years she would drive by the cemetery and have loving thoughts, and shed a tear or two in remembrance of Phyllis.  One brave day she decided to contact the officials, look at the records and actually walk to the sight.  She was kindly informed that Phyllis was NOT there, she'd been shipped to another state for internment.  (15 years of assumption, oh my!)

I remember a time, years ago, when my kind well-intentioned in-laws offered me and honeybuns two burial plots right next to theirs.  I laughed and teasingly replied to my father-in-law that there was no way I was going to spend eternity next to him! I was sure he'd come back with a witty answer.  Nope, silence was the reply. They were highly insulted and we left that place with a chill in the air.  They were trying to give us something and I took the offer too lightly! After that day I heard that they gave it to another son and his wife! I think they envisioned a sort of "Walton's Mountain" scenario, a time when the family would be together at last. It was a sweet thought that I didn't appreciate at the time.

Yep, things get emotional when talking about land at the cemetery. 

I'm looking forward to life beyond the plot!  Now that gets exciting!  I call it "unspeakable anticipation," filled with joy and smiles and a depth of confidence that lights up my mind and countenance.  Things of this word are SO temporary!  A view of eternity puts everything here in it's proper perspective.  "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through."

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