My husband and I bought cemetery plots today. We are both only 42 years old and (thank God) in good health, but we are trying to do the responsible thing. My parents purchased plots when they were around the same age and we figured it’s always smart to prepare for the future.
Unfortunately, there were no available spaces right next to our family plots, but we were pleased to find a nice spot just a short distance down the pathway. In some ways, the location is probably just right–close to my parents and family, but not too close.
The thing that makes me a little sad–but also a little happy–is that (in 120 years) we will not be buried right next to our daughter. Four years ago this month, we lost a very difficult pregnancy at 21-weeks gestation.
When the pregnancy ended, my husband and I were devastated, but we were surprised when the state declared it a death with an official death certificate, which required us to dispose of the remains. We were told about various options, but we couldn’t deal with it right then. Thankfully, my mother stepped in and said she would handle things. After speaking to our family rabbi who has known me since I was a little girl and officiated our wedding, my mother made the arrangements for the burial.
It took me about a year to finally ask my mother what had happened and where our daughter was buried. At that time, my mom told me that she was right by my fraternal grandmother, in the family plot.
My grandmother was a very special person. She was hard-working, loving, and a great Jewish cook. She was a tough lady too; she was a Holocaust survivor. My grandmother didn’t talk about that time in her life very much, but we knew that she had lost practically her entire (first) family. Besides her mother, father, and many sisters and brothers, she also lost her first husband as well as her first child–a baby daughter. Of course, the little girl once had a name, but my grandmother never spoke of it.
Today, my husband and I feel extremely blessed to have two beautiful, healthy children. I do not think I will ever “get over” this significant loss; instead we as a family try to remember our daughter in special ways. We planted a beautiful tree with soft pink leaves by the swing set in our backyard, and plant trees in Israel every year. And we talk about her with our two kids.
I would certainly never try to equate what my grandmother and I went through, but I am glad they are together. There is no better place for my daughter to be.