Every 1 March, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery starts the removal and discard of the decorations they allow on the graves during the winter months. All grave blankets, wreaths, crosses, stuffed animals – they clean them all off the graves and discard them in preparation for the lawn mowing season.
I removed the blankets from Kim’s and her mom’s graves, and the crosses from theirs and those of my grandparents and my dad last weekend. The temperatures have been above freezing most of this week. The end result is that Kim’s grave is an ugly heap of dirt without even a headstone to mark who is there.
Seeing the bare mound of earth was a lot like ripping the bandage off a scabbed-over wound, renewing the pain of watching her casket being lowered into the vault, sealed off, and then being lowered into the hole in the ground and buried.
Her mother’s grave has settled into a flat, but still ugly patch of dirt, the lawn not yet having taken hold. I expect that Kim’s mound will flatten over this year, and they will be setting the headstone this spring. I’m hoping the lawn takes hold quickly, too. Maybe I’ll bring some sandwich bags of grass seed with me on my spring and summer visits and help it along.
One of our attractions to the plots we purchased was the tree and lawn – it looked like a picnic spot – somewhere a person would like to visit. It doesn’t look much like one now, and probably won’t for some time.