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Oh what a terrible experience at the cemetery
Waiting for a cure
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:10 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 295

Long story short, I had to take both my mom's ashes my mom's mom's ashes to the cemetery.  They both died of Alzheimer's, less than six years apart.  Fortunately for me, they both had already purchased their plots at the cemetery.    When my mom moved to assisted living a few yeas ago, my husband and I cleared out her house.  I am not surprised that she didn't take care of getting her mom's ashes to the cemetery, she was distraught like I am now, AND she was already suffering from early stages of dementia.  She hadn't been diagnosed yet....we thought it was depression.

I had called the cemetery a year ago or so about my grandma's ashes but because my mom was my grandma's executor of estate and POA healthcare (which includes authority to  arrange final resting place, etc), they wanted me to bring my mom, her POA, the trust, the ashes, etc in, and I didn't want to do that to my poor mom. She would either have understood a little still and been very distraught, or had some confused idea about why we were at a cemetery and been even more distraught.  Not worth the stress.  I decided to wait.


My husband has this week off for Easter break, and he kindly took me to the cemetery  (the young boys came along because we planned to go to lunch and errands afterwards).  I called ahead and was told I could bring the ashes in today, no problem.  


At the cemetery, it was an hour and half of torture.  First, when someone finally sat down with me, they were asking all the questions that the death cert answers so I gave them that and they seemed put out by it.  I explained it's just too had to answer these questions out loud right now, especially for the last two family members in my own family that I had, who both are now gone.


I waited an extra long time for a counselor (apparently I had some paperwork to do{) and he tried to upsel all kinds of junk.  I firmly insisted that I don't want a graveside service for either, I was told I can bring the ashes in today so here they are.   He told me I couldn't leave the ashes with them!   Luckily I helped him change his mind.  He wanted me to bring them back tomorrow for a graveside service. He was misguided.  Then, he wanted to go get flower vases to bury beside the memorial tablets.  I told him I'll take one but I don't want to see it.  He tried to go get samples and I insisted he didn't.


I had to choose the wording of the memorial tablet and the design and such. Not the worst, but I was getting teary.  I didn't want to show emotion to this fool.  He was really bugging me.


Then came the worst of it!!!   The cemetery refused to accept the permit for my grandma's ashes, on account of it was dated a few years ago and because my mom's name is on the permit and she's deceased.  They say I need to get a new permit from the county (for a fee) and come back to do all this again for my grandma's ashes!!!!  AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!


I had asked the mortuary if the permit would be ok and they said yes!  They made other mistakes which lead to my discomfort but I moved on.  But now I have to go back to them too, since they did the cremation of both bodies.



Ok thanks for letting me rant.


Mimi S.
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:13 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027

I am so sorry for what happened.
Apparently compassion is not part of their vocabulary.

Beth in Indiana
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:35 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 95

I am so sorry.  Certainly not the attitude you need at that moment.  I understand they have a job to do, but no means no.  Wow.  I love your terminology - he was misguided


We all presume these professionals know what they're doing and will be compassionate in their work.  I'm so sorry they've succeeded in adding to your already large burden. 


Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.  It usually is.


Take care -

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:23 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 114

I have a hard time understanding why people are in the death industry and are not comforting to those who lost their loved ones.


I have experienced this first hand in my family and it baffles me.


I hope you are okay and moved on to enjoy time with your family.

Waiting for a cure
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 11:26 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 295

Thank you Mimi, Beth, and Jessie.  I did feel better the next day.  I also had another interesting experience the next day, but this time, a good experience.  I was feeling kind of overwhelmed by the paperwork I still had to do related to my mom's estate.  I was feeling a little ....nervous also. I'm not one to have panic attacks but I was feeling unlike myself.  

Gradually, a feeling came to me.  It's hard to explain well, but it's essentially that feeling of enjoying being in my mom's company.  It's the way it felt to be with her, doing something fun or just sitting together at home.  The feeling became more pronounced and I felt like she knew I was sad and nervous and she wanted to tell me it was alright, take my time, she loves me.  In the middle of that, our family (my husband, sons and I) arrived home and were in the course of tidying the house.  I found in our living room a blouse my mom wore, and it still smelled like her, the her before dementia (which brought pull-ups and strange breath).  I put her blouse on my pillow and thanked her for the extra reminder that she was there for me.  I kept tidying the hose. I found a tin I'd pained for her and opened it. It contained the 2 concert tickets I'd bought for her...I was going to take her to a Carlos Santana concert but we didn't get to go, because her mom was getting worse.  I looked at the date of the tickets....March 2, 2006, just 18 days before my mom's mom died of end stage AD.  
The feeling of my mom's closeness, a pure joy, stayed with me for hours until I was busy tucking my boys in bed. It was an enormous comfort I hope I can experience again.  

Beth in Indiana
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 12:12 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 95

Oh how awesome was that?  to give you peace at a time when you really, really needed it.   Smells are also strong memory ties aren't they? 


You were going to take your Mom to a Santana Concert?  How young your Mother was at least in her heart!  Taht made me smile.


Thanks for sharing such a terrific moment -