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Is There Green Grass On The “Otherside”?

April 9, 2009

When my mother died 4 years ago I would sit at the cemetery, by her freshly covered grave almost everyday. I longed to be near her. Even though I knew sitting at a graveside had nothing to do with being near her, going there gave me a small measure of comfort back then when my loss was brand new.

The cemetery housing my family’s burial plots is gorgeous, lush and green. Even under winter snow, scattered patches of green peek through various spots throughout the massive scared acreage.

Long before my mother died, she and I would go to this cemetery often, visiting the graves of my Grandmother and my cousin who are buried there. The cemetery was a historical theme park of sorts, for us. Many famous and infamous dead are parked there.
The grounds have small lakes with geese, foxes, rabbits, and the like, moving about year round. If it weren’t a cemetery it would still be a park I’d enjoy visiting often. It’s quiet. Clean. Serene.

But something bugs me about it. I don’t want to be bugged by this, but I am. I noticed it first about a year after my mother’s burial. I saw it again today.

Grass does not grow on my mother’s grave.

At first it grew in slowly and I thought this was to be expected of a fresh plot. I even purchased grass seed to sprinkle on top in an effort to speed up the process. It seemed to work. I noticed as the grass grew in my grief began to ease it’s hold on me – a little bit. The time that it took for green grass to cover my mother’s grave signaled the months that I had managed to survive without her when I was certain I was going to die too. By that Fall when my Aunt was buried next to her, the grass was nearly as lush as the grass on the older surrounding graves.

About 2 years after, when I had healed enough to stop going everyday (or maybe I started to heal when I stopped going every day – not sure which) I noticed that her plot once again had no grass, just dry cracked dirt that turned to mud underneath the tiniest rainfall.

On one particular visit her grave was heaped with fresh dirt as if she had just been buried that day. Immediately I marched to the cemetery’s business office to inquire. It went something like this…

Me: “Hi. I’m curious about something and I hope you can help me.”

Her: “We’ll try our best. What do you need?”

Me: “Well, see, um, my Mom is in plot 181-A and she’s been there for over 2 years now. But I was just there and her grave is covered with fresh dirt…it looks like she was just buried today…how could that be? Did she go out somewhere and come back?”

Her: “(Giggle) Hummm? 181-A you say? Let me see…(leafing through files).

The cemetery office lady looked at me with the same look a doctor looks at you when they know something is wrong but all the tests they’ve run fail to reveal the culprit, then she asked,

Her: “What’s your Mother’s name?”

I told her. And then she lied. Maybe.

Her: “Oh, someone came in to request we put seed down. They noticed there was no grass on your Mother’s grave.”

Me: “Really? Who?”

Her: “Someone from the family.”

Me: “Impossible. Aside from myself, there is only one other person from “the Family” and I assure you that person has not been here nor has he made such a request. Ever. Don’t misunderstand I appreciate you planting new grass. I’ve tired to do it myself over the last 2 years, but you have to admit, wouldn’t seeing a mound of fresh dirt on a 2 year old grave freak you out a little?”

Her: “Yes, I imagine it would. Sorry to alarm you. Your Mother’s grave is in a high traffic area and it is a difficult spot for grass to grow.”

Me: “I see. Thank you. I knew there was an explanation.”

Her: “You’re welcome.”

Me: “ But tell me this…my Grandmother who is buried directly next to my Mom and has been, since 1989 is covered with green grass. And cousin buried at the foot of my Grandmother’s grave, since 1993 is also covered with green grass…I will concede that these 2 graves are much older graves and have had ample time for their grasses to root, but here’s the thing…my aunt who is buried directly next to my Mom, on the opposite side of my Grandmother, in this same high traffic area, is also covered with thick green grass and she was buried 3 months after my Mom…does that make sense?”

Her: “(Long pause) I’m sorry. I don’t know what to tell you.”

That day I rushed to my keyboard to write a poignant rant titled, “A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss”. In it I tried to convince myself that my Mother’s life-force was/is so strong that not even the grave could contain it. Then I did not return to the cemetery again, believing sincerely for the first time since her death that she was not there. And that the plot with it’s freshly covered dirt only housed her shell of this last lifetime.

I was at peace, certain that when, if ever, I returned to her grave it too would be lush with green grass, just as the surrounding graves are.

But I go back today and once again I was greeted with crusty mud. WTF?

Yeah, yeah, I like thinking the whole “A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss” thing but there is another part of me that wants to run in a different direction with this unusual phenomenon. This is the part that bugs me. I know it’s a remnant from the hell fire and damnation ideologies I never subscribed to but that have managed to idle at the surface of my belief system.

Is my Mother suffering in death?
Is the absence of green grass on her grave some evidence of this?
If so what can I do about it?
If not, what is it?

When she first died 7 light bulbs blew out in her home within the first 3 days of her death. Since that time light bulbs regularly blow at my home, uniquely timed to special occasions. Holidays. Opening nights, for my plays. Watching her favorite movies.

One Thanksgiving when her dear friend came to visit for a few days, the clock radio in my room made a bizarre static sound when ever this friend went in to the room. The radio was not on.

I attributed these electrical events to my Mom communicating with me from where ever she is now, with joy. That’s still what most of me thinks – then there’s that other part. The part that bugs me…

Just this week I blew the bulbs in both my nightstand lamps.
Monday night – my side. Tuesday night – my guest side.
And there is still no grass.
Mom, what are you trying to tell me?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Shawnna permalink
    April 11, 2009 4:03 pm

    Your mom has quite the sense of humor. Maybe she is having fun with you 🙂

  2. rougebuddha permalink
    April 11, 2009 6:06 pm

    She always was quite the prankster…and this is “Holy Week”, right? I’ll take that for the recent light bulbs, but this grass thing…?

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