Not everything is a ‘sign’ …

Everyone knows my favorite poet is John Donne. I first encountered him when I was 19 and we were studying the metaphysical poets in English Lit.

I was recently informed, via a message on Ancestry from my niece, that my female DNA contributor died . I have often, in the past, searched for obituaries for said person, and finding none assumed she lived on. Knowing that she is deceased I searched once again for any kind of death notice and there is still none. Whether her son decided it was not worth the bother I have no idea. Therefore I know not where her mortal remains might be interred.  And I wonder only out of curiosity because that’s the sort of thing I am curious about, where people are buried, what their tombstones say  – while I think cemeteries are a waste of space, conversely I find them fascinating to explore.

When my father died in 1973, a drawer was purchased in a mausoleum at the  Pinelawn Memorial Park and Arboretum. I was there exactly once, the day his mortal remains were interred.

This morning I remembered that I had the certificate of purchase for that entombment. I dug it out and I discovered my father is entombed in the John Donne Memorial Mausoleum (Row 5, Tier G).  That just amused the heck out of me for some reason.

It appears that the purchase covers two entombment rights – both remains to occupy the same crypt. On the back of the certificate it states:

“Each crypt space for two has the following dimensions:
Height          25″
Width           31″
Length          14’6″ (or 7’3″ each person)”

While I was typing this I wondered to myself “Why are you bothering with any of this?”  And then I realized tomorrow is Father’s Day – aha! And then I remembered something my father would write on every card he sent –

“You shall pass through this world but once; therefore any good that you can do or any kindness you can show to any human being, do it now for you shall not pass this way again”

That is a variation of a quote that has a  much disputed origin but seems to be, most probably,  a Quaker proverb.

And, as usual, I started this post going in one direction and wound up veering off into another.  My father seems to be much with me this past days. Happy Father’s Day, Pop!

4 thoughts on “Not everything is a ‘sign’ …

  1. A few things that struck me here — the dimensions of the drawer (the space we occupy even when we’re gone); how I keep meaning to acknowledge the death of your “female DNA contributor” and how that description encapsulates so much; and the ways fathers (parents?) can emerge long after they are gone. As usual, I enjoyed being along for the ride reading this post. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • And keeping it light – I found those dimensions interesting too. I have often described the stall shower in our hall bathroom as coffin-sized – that shower (which we never use now) is 30 inches wide!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The way my brain works I read a crypt for two and I think of the song “a bicycle built for two”.
    That quote your father wrote on all his cards sounds very familiar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get that LOL I’ve done similar with other things, your brain fills in the blanks with something familiar – As for the quote he adapted it to read “You” instead of “I” and left out other parts of the quote – it seems it has been attributed to William Penn (a Quaker) right up to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Most commonly it reads: I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” ~ Stephen Grellet


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