I really don’t want to spend eternity under a beautiful oak tree. What was once a thoughtful, loving gesture has turned into a family inside joke. All jokes aside, this seemingly heartfelt suggestion from my adult son, is not my final wish. I know he meant well.
Initially, I was horrified by the prospect that he was even thinking about this. I know he wanted me to be nearby so he could visit me. But all I could think of…was an endless sea of questions.
“Why are you planning my death?” …“I don’t want to talk about this”
“I can’t believe you seem so excited by where I would be buried.” … “What is your rush?”
This majestic “oak tree” grows in a cemetery that we drive past every time we visit my son and his family and go to a favorite Italian restaurant nearby. So, needless to say, in the car ride, I hear giggles and he points with his eyes twinkling and says “Mom, look…the oak tree! It’s so beautiful!” I don’t know where he got this crazy sense of humor – but now that the whole gang knows I don’t want to be there – they all are enjoying this “joke.” I am rolling my eyes and not laughing. Of course, my son has repeatedly told me – that whatever I choose he will abide by. However, I think this is his way of dealing with a subject that he’s unable to face.
Honestly, I’m on the fence on what I want to do. My husband already knows. He is “dead set” - pardon the pun - on cremation and being scattered at sea. My son knows that is what he wants, so his thought process evidently went to…. what shall we do about “mom?” Well, as much as this is appreciated, I never thought in a million years that the little bundle of joy I gave birth to would be giving this much thought to my inevitable demise.
His concern has left me with the quandary of making this decision I didn’t really want to think about. If I don’t, he found a place not far from where he lives, to “put me.” For some reason – no matter how peaceful and pretty that darn oak tree is – I really DO NOT want to be buried there.
As this new year begins, I am resolving to take care of pre-planning my arrangements. Just like me, I know many people just don’t want to think about making those final arrangements.
A choice here in Boca Raton, Florida is the Beth El Mausoleum, which is the only mausoleum in the U.S. built on sacred synagogue grounds. The Mausoleum Director spends time with many people like me, who often reluctantly make an appointment to visit and consider this difficult topic. After taking a tour and making a decision, there is often a sigh of relief once the papers are signed.
So for me, there now will be documents with my final wishes waiting for my family. I don’t want them to be sad that I am gone, but rather think back to many happy times of love and laughter, including that ride to the Italian restaurant where we laughed so often… about an oak tree that will NOT BE my final resting place.