Day at the Cemetery

By Mike Johnson

We spent two hours in a cemetery yesterday. An elderly tenant had burned bridges with her family & was alone.

Margie became her advocate, driver, in-house care & friend. For two years, she arranged housing, utility, hearing-aid, medical & veterinary assistance for Margaret & her dog.

Margie became peacemaker with family members, pulling them in one-by-one for a last goodbye. Margie was alone at Margaret’s hospice bedside when she died.

Yesterday, following directions from a daughter, Margie planned to visit Margaret’s grave.

Small town. No cemetery directory. No caretaker. Nothing online. Sketchy directions. There was no other way. We walked every row & checked every name on every marker.

Some lived 100 years. Some died the day they were born.

Some cocky, “Try to follow my act.” Some loyal, “I’ll wait for you on the other side.”

Loved ones left mementos. Flowers. Coins. Artwork. An unopened beer can.

Entire lives represented by a single marker.

Some didn't even get that.

We never found Margaret’s grave.


UPDATE: Margie called Margaret's daughter for better directions. She had sent us to the wrong cemetery! The correct location was 30 miles farther west. Success.

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