Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Cemeteries Confuse Me

I'm trying very hard not offend anyone with this post.

I fully understand the need to have a way to say goodbye to someone who has died. Personally I like the idea of a gathering that celebrates my life, rather than a maudlin affair that mourns my death. And funeral-wise I have always been completely in love with the idea of a Viking funeral. Ever since I saw one in a movie when I was a kid, I thought being loaded onto a boat with all your possessions, set out to sea, and then having people shoot flaming arrows at the boat until it catches fire and burns to nothing, was the most awesome funeral idea. I still think that, but given that I live in Australia, where I'm pretty sure that's not allowed, I will probably never have one.

I don't understand the burying people in the ground and then visiting them. I don't mean to offend anyone who does that, it's just that most people I know who visit the graves of people they have known, also believe that once a person dies the soul goes elsewhere.

Out of 10 people who I know who visit graves, 6 of them believe the soul goes to heaven, 3 say rebirth, and 1 says she doesn't know for sure, she just thinks they're out there somewhere. Which brings me to the bit I have trouble with. If you believe the soul isn't in the body anymore, why are you visiting the body? Would it not make more sense to plant a tree in honour of the person (unless they hated trees in life), or go to an area you know they loved, where you can just sit and think about them, and if their soul is out there somewhere, they'd know about it.

If you do visit graves, feel free to explain to me why, and please don't think for a moment that I'm trying to cause trouble, or invalidate your choice. I just don't get it.


Jayne said...

I love visiting graves - but only as a means of reading about people, who they were, who their families were, what they did, etc, rather than going to visit family members.
*shrugs* I figure sometimes people feel like they didn't get the chance to say everything they wanted to while the departed person was alive, so they visit now.

River said...

Exactly! This is why I don't want to be buried, I'm not there! It's just an empty shell that used to hold me. My body will go to the medical teaching hospital where new students can learn from me and my soul will be free. By all means feel free to plant a tree for me. any kind, anywhere.
Do a little research and see if you CAN have a Viking burial. I'll set the boat alight, but you'll have to provide the boat, I can't afford one.

Windsmoke. said...

Don't visit cementaries unless i really have to because there are to many vampires and werewolves in residence :-).