Sunday, August 23, 2009

Memorial Mausoleum

It is always interesting to hear every one's point of view when it comes to cemeteries and Spring Grove. I do agree with the insights and most opinions regarding the cemetery. I understand that there is money involved but I do not view Spring Grove as a business. Money doesn't play a very important role in my life so I try and just look at the cemetery for what it truly is. Just as most of the class said, it is a place for the living. Funerals and cemeteries fulfill the strong emotional needs of the survivors and help them deal with their loss. If money was not involved then every cemetery would be like the depressing one that I visited, and I know no one would want to visit their family there. Everything needs money in order to run. Whether it be charities, the Salvation Army, or even Spring Grove, these places are providing an important service for the community. It isn't like there is CEO of Spring Grove driving around in a Maserati as he makes loads of money off the dead. Regardless if we may not agree with the over sized monuments or bust located throughout the cemetery, it is the persons/family's right to do what they want. We are who we are. I think one thing we can all agree on is that Spring Grove is a wonderful place. After our discussion we ventured over to the memorial mausoleum. It was unlike anything I had seen in my life. Everyone in my immediate family wants to be cremated so this was like seeing a cemetery within a cemetery. I have always said I want my ashes to be spread over Old Trafford Stadium's pitch (Manchester United Futbol field) but I have come to the realization that it may be a little selfish on my part. The cemetery can be a little impersonal and overwhelming at times when you have thousands of other monuments and headstones surrounding you but this place was so personal. The stained glass windows and various marbles gave each room its own look and feel. I felt like I was looking at a museum exhibit. I know we were discussing what would happen to cemeteries when all the space is filled up, but now that cremation is becoming even more common, I think it would be great to erect more buildings like this. I will have to admit that some of the stained glass works and art were just a little random. It made it almost like a themed hotel for the dead. I can almost imagine the conversation between the families and funeral directors. "Soooo, would you like to put your loved one in the phoenix room with Salisbury pink marble or would you like the fountain room with hanging plants. It was also really comfortable inside. There were padded benches with air conditioned rooms and lobby's to sit. I know this may not sound important but sometimes it ruins the mourners experience and time of reflection when there are mosquitoes and other various bugs waiting to treat your legs like golden corral after 6 pm. This is a place where you can come any time of year and just relax while thinking about the loved one who has passed. I also looked through the guestbook in the front of the building and it was heartwarming to read some of the messages to family members who are gone. The urns were also a treat. I don't know why they wouldn't just take them home and put them on a mantle but hey, to each their own. They all had their own personal touch. Randing from golfers to fishers these urns were all beautiful in their own way. I would have to give this experience two thumbs way up because it was a change of pace from the usual older monuments and iconography.

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