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Excellence in Life and Death

Excellence in DeathCemeteries at this time of year seem to be the focus of several international holidays. Be it Samhain, All Hallows, or Mexico’s Day of the Dead; people will be flocking to their local necropolis. In our world that seems to fly at us at the speed of our local internet it seems ironic that as the year starts winding down, people still cling to ancient traditions.

If you haven’t visited an antique cemetery you may not have seen the artistically carved monuments memorializing individuals. Whether we want to think about it, we all will one day have to consider what will become of our remains. Will it be an urn on a mantle, crypt in a mausoleum, a simple pine casket in an old mountain top cemetery?  While we are considering that little aspect of life; our conclusion we may also take stock of what is important about our life.

Are we watching enough television? The cable and satellite carriers probably would vote no. When we are interned for eternity will we roll over when our sports team fails to win the championship? My guess is probably not. In the great hereafter we may have other more pressing concerns; like will our final resting place be demolished for a shopping mall.

In the real world, real estate is a shrinking commodity; it isn’t like there is ever going to be more than what we already have. Are we making the most of our environment and planning for future generations?

A stroll through Pere Lachaise cemetery in the 20th arrondissement in Paris reveals an abundantly rich neighborhood of the who’s who of the deceased. This was not always the case and in fact they struggled for the first few years of operation because so few were buried here. Indeed it is so popular now that one may purchase a lease for as little as ten years. As with everything else it doesn’t pay to be cheap. Sure, you got a great address in the afterworld for ten years, but what are you going to do when the lease is up? And that is my point exactly; we should value those little niches in our life where commerce does not trespass because in death as in life everything has a price.

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