The experience of seeing the “cemetery world” of Long Island is quite remarkable. Acres and acres, miles and miles of tombstones, headstones and monuments are all you can see from the highway in both directions. One cemetery at a time gives up its land to the dearly departed.
“The owners must have bought this land when it was worth nothing,” said Jerry. “They had no idea how built up Long Island would become some day. That land must be worth a fortune now.”
We literally needed a map to find our way to the graves we were searching for.
Most of the tombstones had typical words on them like, “Beloved mother, wife and sister.” Or “Beloved father, husband and brother.” We thought it was interesting that the wording said nothing about the person, or what they ascribed to in life or what became of them throughout their journeys on top of the earth. It said only what role they played in their relatives’ lives. But what they thought, believed or accomplished went unnoticed by those in charge of wording the tombstone.
One of the strangest one we saw said, “He did his best.” What did that mean? He tried but failed? He wasn’t up to the task? He was a loser? I wouldn’t want to go through eternity with that epitaph, making anyone who reads it think any of those thoughts.
A comic once wrote that he had a friend who was a terrible hypochondriac. His tombstone said: “I TOLD you I was sick!” But that’s a joke, not a real situation.
I couldn’t believe the corniness of one plagiarized tombstone I saw today, “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” That’s a line from Eric Siegel’s best selling book and popular movie starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw.
What was it doing on a tombstone? And what’s its significance?
It was a good idea to pay respects to our parents’ grave sites, but as for me, I would prefer to stay away from cemeteries for as long into the future as I possibly can.