And Yet Another Cemetery Visit

Another cemetery visit

Another day and another cemetery visit? You bet! This one is a little different though. Noelle here, by the way. I’ve mentioned before that my Mom died about three years ago. Then last year we said goodbye to my Dad too. Good byes are never easy, but these permanent ones, well they’re even harder.

Frankly, I’m glad they both missed 2020 and the isolation of Covid-19. Their hometown also endured two hurricanes and a ridiculous loss of power during this winter’s recent freak cold and ice storm. We drove past there today and saw the devastation that still exists after Hurricanes Laura and Sally. From the freeway, we saw downed trees, blue tarp roofs on house after house, and boarded up high-rise windows. We even saw a new-to-us “neighborhood” of row upon row of single-wide manufactured homes. My sister said they came from FEMA for all the folks who lost their homes.

So, missing 2020 isn’t the worst thing that could happen for my parents. Instead, of quarantining, they got to be reunited in death or in the life-after, as I’d like to think. That’s okay by me.

My sisters are gathering for our parents’ inurnment. It’s another cemetery visit that’s been looming ahead of us and I’m glad the time is finally here. We originally planned to have the burial and a family gathering last July, but then global pandemic, so we postponed till now. I guess it’s an act of closure, so that’s good. But honestly, I’ve had chats with my Dad throughout the year. So the actual burial doesn’t change what’s already in my heart.

When we were in Natchez, visiting their amazing cemetery, we unfortunately witnessed real grief in the newer section. Our love of old cemeteries is based on the history, on our curiosity of the past. It’s not about current grief, that’s not our deal at all. So while I know in some ways, I’m still grieving the loss of my parents, it’s not that new raw emotion that exists in the first months.

Sister Gathering

I’ve selected a couple of signature cocktails for our sister gathering. A gin-based Corpse Revivor 2 and a girlie drink, Cotton Candy Margarita. I figure is signature cocktails are the cool thing for weddings, why not have one for an inurnment too! The other night, I cooked Lemongrass tofu for dinner, so…I made a lemongrass and ginger simple syrup while I was at it. Lemongrass and ginger in a gin & tonic. Sounds like perfection to me!

Another cemetery visit
Me and my sisters

When we talk about our future plans, I mean after our vagabond stage, well I’d like to get two dogs. I’m going to name them Gin and Ginger. It’s funny. You know it is. We’ve also wanted a dog named Kevin and even tried to name our little Poodle that, but the kids would have none of it. Then we tried to change Buddy’s name to Bacon after we adopted him, but this time he would have none of it. So we joke that Steve can get two dogs named Kevin and Bacon. Get it?! hahaha.

Another cemetery visit

Somehow I’ve left my topic about another cemetery visit and instead have begun amusing myself. Maybe that’s part of healing from grief. Laughing helps in the growing and I’m thankful for that. My relationship with my parents was complicated, which is probably not too unusual. Frankly, my mother is much easier to love now that she’s gone. She can’t get in the way of our relationship now, so I can just love her knowing she did the best she could do. I think that’s enough. I’m okay with it, at any rate.

Saying goodbye is part of life. It’s just the cycle of it, so I’m okay to gather with my sisters for yet another cemetery visit and say a proper goodbye to our parents. Then next week, I’ll head home for a couple weeks and spend some time with our kids and grandkids. It really is the cycle of life.

Another cemetery visit
Dad and Mom Inurnment


  1. Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg

    Thank you for sharing this memory. <3 While it wasn't the original plan, it seemed like a nice way to honor them.

  2. Big Dummy

    As I told my own mother “I love, but I sure don’t like you”. Too alike, perhaps. But I’m a better singer…

    Another well-done (and personal) journal entry. I get lonesome for K after an hour; days apart would suck!

    But on the other hand you’ve been trapped in the rig with the lanky bean-and-cabbage-eating ginger man for a while, so maybe a short absence will make the heart grow even more fonder. He’s going to miss his raison d’etre!

    • mcgarveysan

      You’re a better singer, haha! We should go to karaoke sometime. My bean and cabbage eating ginger loves to sing! You may be better than him too though. 😁

  3. Elizabeth Stiffler

    So happy you were able to be with your sisters as you laid your parents ashes in their resting place. I appreciate your comment about your mom. Knowing that others didn’t have a “perfect” relationship with their mother, helps me with my guilt and shame regarding my own relationship with my mom.
    Enjoy and have a wonderful visit with your children and grandchildren in Oregon. Blessings to you and Steve.

    • mcgarveysan

      Hi Liz. Oh yeah, Moms are hard sometimes. I had a lot of guilt and shame for years. Then when I didn’t win any Mother of the Year Awards myself, I had to realize that my mom was also doing the best she could with what she had. It wasn’t enough but it’s all she could do. I try to be more available to and for our kids but wonder still if I’m doing enough. Yep moms and kids- that’s a hard one.
      Thanks for the well wishes. I hope you and Bob are well. I’ve sure been enjoying your daily “word for contemplation”!

  4. Marilyn

    Hi Noelle,
    It was reassuring to hear about the gathering of sisters to intern your parents. Families are dealing with different ways of celebrating death and you provide reassurance that families can get through difficult times together. PS I like the cocktails.

    • mcgarveysan

      Hi Marilyn, We certainly did things our own way! We had a larger celebration planned for last summer, which obviously didn’t work out. So this was a much smaller gathering with my sisters, Steve and one other brother-in-law. We had a nice time, even if not entirely how we planned it. PS The cocktails were a nice benefit! 🙂


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