Yesterday I wrote about digging, and I ended the article asking if I’d dig my own grave. Sure it’s a morbid topic, but is seems to me that digging a grave may be the ultimate act of love.
I’ve dug graves for pets in the past. I once dug a grave for a calf that died. I had to bury a horse two years ago. It was during a real rainy spell so I hired someone with a back hoe because water filled the hole and replaced every bit of dirt that was removed.
Digging a grave gives one the chance to reflect on the life that is now gone. Unfortunately, people no longer have the opportunity to dig graves for their loved ones.
There are no longer any family cemeteries on the family farm. There are all sorts of laws, union contracts and standards that prevent this final act of love from taking place. The closest thing one can do is purchase a plot and walk the earth where you eventually will be interned. All aspects of the death of a loved one are taken care of by strangers. Your only involvement is writing a check and attending the service.
I’ve always had the romantic notion that I could find a spot in the woods up on the hill in the back part of my property and dig my grave. I could carefully craft it and stone the walls like a well. I could cover it and maintain it. When I die I can be placed in the grave and it could be filled with the forest soil by friends and loved ones. Then it may be capped with a simple stone.
Maybe this is morbid, but to me I find that an occasional reminder of my mortality helps me appreciate my life much more.