When You See A Hearse Go By… #socs

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

Doesn’t it seem that the word "cemetery" should have an "a" in it somewhere? I always want to spell it "cematery" or "cemetary." I’m going to be cremated, because it’s easier for me to spell "columbarium."

We used to go to All Saints Cemetery at least once a year to visit my grandmother Walkie and my dad, who’s buried on the other side of the headstone. Dad’s death caught all of us by surprise and we didn’t have a plot for him, so my grandfather offered the other side of his and Walkie’s headstone for Dad. They’re in the "old" section of the cemetery. Mom and her second husband are buried in the "new" section, where only grave markers at ground level are allowed.

On one of my trips to Chicago, I decided to visit the cemetery and all my relatives. In addition to Dad and Walkie, Grandma Holton, her sister Florence, and their parents are buried there in the old section, and Mom, Tex (her second husband, long story) and her aunt (my great-aunt) Cash are buried in the new section. I had no idea where any of them were, so I stopped at the office and asked. The lady needed information on when they were born and/or died to tell me where the gravesites were, and I started rattling off names and dates. The lady couldn’t believe that I remembered all of that. In my family, that’s really important to know.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Marlboro cigarettes. Filter, flavor, flip-top box!

For a guy who’s been working on his car, his hands sure are clean…

34 thoughts on “When You See A Hearse Go By… #socs

  1. I agree with the spelling. I am being cremated (against my religion) and at least I can spell the word. My close relatives are in a Jewish cemetary (see I spelled it like it should be) and the Veteran’s Cemetary. I can give names, but not dates.

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    1. The Catholic Church used to be dead-set against cremation, and they still prefer burial, but they’ve realized that it’s a practical matter (much less expensive, cemetery space is at a premium in some parts of the world, and sometimes there are health concerns where burning the body is recommended). Scattering the ashes is still prohibited…

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    1. Mom’s funeral cost $11K twenty years ago. It’s probably close to $20K now. That’s why so many are opting for cremation instead. The Catholic Church, which had always been against cremation, has changed their story, to their credit. I think reality caught up with them.

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  2. I applaud your memory of your family tree reminding me that oral history used to be the only way to pass along everything important. We have an old cemetery nearby with old trees, Spanish moss and fallen leaves calling us to meander through.

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  3. I remember most dates but none of my family are buried close to where I live now. I agree cemetery should be spelled differently along with definitely which I think should be spelled definately. Oh, well.

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  4. Hi John – good for you … my father is in the churchyard next to where he died, while my mother is in her beloved Cornwall … I think of them – and will always visit my Ma … glad you’ve found your relatives to visit them. Spelling – I had to look up columbarium … with the pigeons I see! I don’t know how many of them we have here … probably not many I suspect. Take care – Hilary

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  5. I often spell cemetery as cemetary because it looks better to me…oh well I can remember dates and names as well…for the most part and people ar always amazed at how much I remember. Yes, the smoking man has very clean hands…unlike his lungs.

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  6. All Saints has recently allowed proper headstones in parts of the “new section.” Very popular with Polish, Filipino and other Catholics that don’t have access to their now “sold-out” traditional cemeteries that were final resting places their recent ancestors. I have always wondered….Do you know why All Saints was the choice for the family? Pretty far from where the family was at the time. I might head over there this weekend before it gets too cold. I’ll say hi to everyone.

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    1. I really can’t say why. It might have been the closest Catholic cemetery that had room. Your grandfather is buried at Rosehill, if I remember correctly. Say hi to Mom, your Dad, and Cash, and if you get to the old side, Walkie, Hicks, my Dad, and Grandma and Florence (they’re buried with their folks).

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      1. Makes sense. I do know where everyone is buried at All Saints so I make the rounds when I visit. I try to get there at least a couple times a year. And yes, my dad’s family is spilt among Rosehill, Cavalry and St. Boniface.

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          1. I can give a partial answer to Pat’s question. When my mother (Walky or Wally) died the family thought her burial would be somewhere on the south side of Chicago since Mom and Dad were south siders most of there lives and probably all of their Chicago relatives were buried “out South.” When the subject was raised with all of us I remember Dad saying we were north siders now and she would be buried on the north side. What I can’t answer is why All Saints was chosen besides the fact that it was a Catholic cemetary – wait a minute, I mean cemetery!

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  7. I’m also impressed that you remembered all the names and dates of death. My relatives – aunts and uncles – are buried at various cemeteries in WI and I wouldn’t have a clue in how to find them. However, mom and dad are buried in a small Catholic cemetery about 25 minutes away. Mom and I used to visit dad after he passed, so it’s not difficult to find and visit them both. I was there a couple of weeks ago for the first time in months, but it felt good to say “hi” and tell them both I still miss them.

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    1. If they’re buried at Catholic cemeteries, you might check with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. If they didn’t have the records, they might be able to tell you where to call. The important thing is, you know where your parents are..

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  8. I know a few dates, but I know WHERE folks are planted, it was ultra important to my mother to visit those graves at least once a year, twice for those closest to her in life. It’s ironic in a way because she’s buried about 400 miles south of where I live. The last time I was there was 2005 when she was buried. My brother gets down there now and again to put some flowers on the grave (she & Pop are buried in his hometown) and to make sure things are okay. Presently (in the future sometime) I’ll lie beside them, IF some other relative hasn’t grabbed ‘my’ plot. I was assigned it in 2005, officially, but being so far away who knows what might occur in the intervening years. And here’s a little something ‘extra’ I thought you’d enjoy…

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  9. Great memory. Important in our family too. But don’t tell on me, I’ve long forgotten. I’ll remember the month and day but not the year.

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