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:
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!