Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My metaphysical, genealogical fantasy

Since I last posted, I have new genealogy issues. A death in the family prompted me to make sure someone will be buried, who may not have been buried.

My own father was cremated and who knows what happened to the ashes. I don't pretend to be attached to my dad's ashes, so that's not it.

The more recent death is in a different branch of my family, but between dad's death in 1988, and this one in March, I want to know more about my deceased relatives, including where they ended up.

Dad is in a mental limbo for me. There's no stone, no location, no anything for his final resting place. I'm sure it's all kinds of cultural for me to be at this point where I want folks to have a location. Dad's lack of burial seems to be very amorphous, vague, and disorganized. He's nowhere. He's in my memory and the photos I have of him, and in the curiosity I have for random things, and the oblivious way I can be all kinds of a smartass and not realize I may need to defend myself suddenly (long story).

I tried for months to find my great-aunt (as you may have read in this blog), and finally succeeded in discovering where she was buried. And I learned how it happened, and I know it's her there. It mattered to me.

This recent death created an opportunity for this man not to be "lost" like Dad seems to be. Many of his relatives are buried in one of two adjoining counties, and the family gets to them all periodically, or at least *they can.* If he was cremated and put into the river, there'd be no place to visit. So I discovered suddenly that I wanted a LOCATION for this person to BE, even though we don't know where the dead go, not really. We can look at the (future at this point) stone and read the (future) inscription and know a little about him, if they care to. And folks can ask: Why does it say *that* on his stone?

So basically, I'm indulging my own metaphysical fantasy. I'm good with that. This man was important; I don't want him to be erased or lost in time, either one.