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Do You Ever Go to Cemeteries? May 08, 2005 7:41 AM

My dear friends,

Usually, I'm considered "brave" for dealing with severe health problems, difficult situations, and quick action when circumstances require it...  There's one thing, however, that I'm absolutely unable to do: going to the cemetery to pay a tribute to my deceased loved ones!  If I do I either faint, or become hysterical, or I'm in shock for weeks... 

Cemeteries in Italy are very beautiful: lots of marble chapels, statues, gardens, water fountains, etc.  I bought "niches" for my parents and Tony.  Expensive but definitely worth it!  I also made arrangements for lamps to stay on all year around, but I never bring flowers. 

Since Metropolitan Naples has more than 3.000.000 inhabitants, there are several cemeteries and my family is all spread out. 

Yesterday I had a call from my good friend Peppino.  We worked together at the US Consulate for many years and I became very close to him and his wife.  He told me that this morning he'd be going to the chapel where Tony and his in-laws are...  would I like for him to buy some flowers or would I prefer to select them myself?  We made arrangements that I'd get the flowers and he'd stop by the apt. this morning to pick them up.  I chose 11 beautiful red roses and wrote a card for Tony.  Peppino did the job for me and confirmed it as soon as he got home.  He said he'll do the same with my parents next time he goes to the other cemetery.  How thoughtful!  It brought tears to my eyes!  Thanks, Peppino!  I doubt he does realize how much this means to me because it seems such a spontaneous, normal gesture to him...  May God bless him for it.

Giuliana aka Princess Little Rock

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 May 08, 2005 7:41 PM

Giuliana, You are lucky to have such a loving, caring friend in Peppino. He seems to understand how difficult a cemetary visit is for you yet at the same time you want to send flowers. That is true friendship.

For myself, I do visit cemetaries, although none of my dear departed are buried in them. They all have had their ashes scattered instead. Sometimes I think I'd rather have a place to go 'visit' with them, but then I wonder if that place would become a substitute? 

Give yourself time, dear one, you may decide to go to the gravesite in the future.... or not. Either way is okay. Do what you need to do.  

Peace, Liz

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Yes, I would, but give it time.. May 09, 2005 5:19 AM

Guiliana, some of my loved ones are buried great distances from me and some are cremated but I would visit the cemetary and have had a strong desire to visit a gravesite of my one friend who passed and I was not able to attend his funeral services. I have always felt much sadness and guilt for not attending his services. But give yourself time about visiting the cemetary. IN time it may come or it may not. It is still so fresh and sometimes it can be such a final moment that you will know when you are ready to accept that Guiliana. You are still a young grieving heart & soul my dear friend. Tony understands and I do believe you have been exceptionally blessed with your grand friend Peppino. Liz, I am glad to find you in here and posting such lovely thoughts and words of wisdom. Peace & blessings upon you both in your day.---ginger  [ send green star]
 May 09, 2005 8:11 AM

Guiliana, dear,
your friend Peppino is indeed a dear friend to you, to be so thoughtful in placing flowers on your behalf.  Please dont feel guilty for not visiting the cemetary.  Your Tony is all around, everywhere.  In the air you breathe, in the raindrops, in the sparkles of the sun, in the flight of the birds.  You can remember and honour him everywhere...not only the cemetary.

My Jenny loved cemetaries...she belonged to a gravestone historical organization.  they would work on documenting old neglected gravestones..taking rubbings of the stones and keeping record of the information, so that as time wore the stones away...there would still be record for future generations.  I often go to cemetaries to honor her work that she did, I go to tidy and weed, and just say blessings at the graves that look forgotten and neglected.  I go to all the little country cemetaries around here, I dont go to a specific one to visit Jenny...for she is not in a cemetary, she was cremated, and part of her ashes are planted with a tree in my yard, and a tiny part of her ashes are in a vial I wear around my neck.  My brother has a part of her ashes in the same way.  She and I had always talked about how we wanted to do that when our parents were gone...didnt know that it would be her to be the first to worn.

be gentle with yourself dearest.  Your Tony understands.


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 May 09, 2005 9:38 AM

Dearest Liz, Ginger and Novella,

I read each one of your beautiful messages over and over again...  They made me feel good!  Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

Yes, Peppino is a sensitive, caring friend and I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate his thoughtfulness!

Years ago, Tony and I wrote our respective wills...  it took us 30 minutes at the most for both because each one was leaving everything to the other!  We also indicated that we wanted to be cremated.  Well, as it turned out, Tony passed on so unexpectedly that his wish was the farthest thing from my mind!  Just imagine:  we were buying flower pots on the way home...  then he felt SO badly that he died in the ambulance within 15 minutes!  Once at the hospital, the doctors did the impossible to revive him... to no avail.  An hour or so before, we were discussing about the flowers on the deck, and then I found myself making arrangements with the funeral home for his burial, furnishing his personal data to the police, and discussing Mass with the priest!  The representative of the Funeral Home suggested that I have Tony cremated and put his ashes in an urn next to my mother, in the same niche!  He thought it was a good idea which would have also saved me a lot of money!  I found it horrible! That's when it occurred to me about the cremation...  But his body was still warm, and to me, it would have been like killing him!!!  So he got his own beautiful niche, a lamp, and lots of beautiful flowers.

I find the idea of carrying (actually, wearing) ashes very loving...  I may have done the same if circumstances had been different...

Giuliana aka Princess Little Rock

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 May 10, 2005 7:02 AM

For quite some time after my grandparents, father and then my husband died i would visit the cemetaries where they were buried or in my husbands case where his ashed were buried in his brother's grave.  I only did this for about 3 years in each case on a regular basis then occasionally afterwards, I would chat to them there arrange flowers as if I was visiting them in hospital, all but my husband's cemetary are now too far away to visit even occasionally, but the thing is over the years I have come to realise they weren't under that earth, they were in my heart and I could talk to them at any time anywhere, and every last one of them would prefer if I bought the flowers for them in their memory, to keep them in the house and think of them when I look at them.   [ send green star]
 May 10, 2005 7:06 AM mother in law can't get the the cemetary as often as she would like, what she has to help her is a small table on which she keeps photographs of her sons, a candle, a few personal momentoes like Ian's tobacco pipe and John's spectacles, a bible, her rosary and she places flowers on the table too.  [ send green star]
 May 10, 2005 1:22 PM

This is so beautiful, my dear!  Even better than going to the cemetery...  And her deceased loved ones know it.  Thanks for sharing.


Giuliana aka Princess Little Rock

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 May 10, 2005 6:57 PM

I have never been back to my Father's grave, it's in another state.

I've been to my Mother's grave twice.  I have never been back to my brother's grave.

I just don't feel like they are there.  Their bodies are in the ground but their spirit is with me.

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 May 11, 2005 7:08 AM

You know, Rhonda, sometimes I feel the same...  Their spirits are with us!  Certainly not all the time because they're studying and evolving on the other side, but they're aware of what's going on in our lives.  I also believe in the power of prayers, candles, and Masses, so I make sure they get a lot of each.


Giuliana aka Princess Little Rock

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