Thursday, September 06, 2012

Hometown: Cemeteries

I love to visit cemeteries. I always have.  As a little girl, I always helped my Dad plant geraniums at grave sites on Memorial Day.  It was our way to remember.

As an adult, I attended a few Feng Shui classes and vaguely recall that our ancestor's burial ground has links to our lives.  When I googled this topic, I found this interpretation:
Death is just a transition point. If the human remains are interred at a good location at the correct time (time being the heavenly component of the Heaven-Earth-Man trinity), then a chain reaction will be set off in which the earth’s productive capacity is modulated by the human qi interred, and a ‘signal’ of sorts is generated. The deceased person’s descendant's have an affinity, or linkage, with this ‘signal’. We can think of it as a ‘DNA signature’ of sorts. Only the descendants having the same ‘DNA signature’ will be able to pick up this ‘signal’, in much the same way that only a specific tuning of the radio will be able to receive a specific broadcast frequency.
If the burial site is good, the ‘signal’ generated will be positive and the descendants picking up this ‘signal’ will be blessed with good health and good fortune. Conversely if the burial site is bad, a negative ‘signal’ is generated and the descendants will be impacted negatively.

I realize my ancestors never studied feng shui.  And, they may not put any value in this assessment.  But they did respect and care for the burial sites.  Despite that I live in Arizona, I respect and want to care for the burial sites, too. Especially since the last of the Dalhaimer family recently moved to Illinois.  I felt this pang of regret last Memorial Day when I realized for the first time since the 1940's there was no Dalhaimer relative in town to tend to the sites. I committed on that day that when I visit, I would continue the care.

Why is this so important? Perhaps it is due to "feng shui" or maybe it is simply my upbringing. My ancestors who stayed in Russia more than likely did not receive a proper burial.  My grandmother made my father promise to always tend his brother John's grave. My Dad and I visited and cared for the site every Memorial Day.  After my grandmother was buried next to John, we tended to both graves for years.  When I moved my Mom and Dad followed this pattern for years. When my Dad moved to Oregon, he asked his brother Fred to tend the sites.  Fred immediately understood and did so every year until this past May.

On Saturday, August 19, my daughter Ashley and I made the trek to Calvary Cemetery. We stopped at the cemetery to check the stones, then headed to Shopko for plants.  It was a bit too late in the season for geraniums but we found good substitutes. We came back to the cemetery, washed, cleaned and planted our selections...hosta and pink begonias, pink because it was my grandmother's favorite color. We did our best.

Our next stop was the Lutheran Cemetery.  Stay tuned.

Scenes from Calvary Cemetery

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