Cemetery Mither (fuss or moan)
Public cemeteries in days of yore have always been set just outside of communities but close to visit and commemorate pasted loved one’s. As small communities grow it encompasses those cemeteries of families that built their communities, today and in the future, to a point public records were needed to remember local families.
As the community grew so did the concerns of the cemetery, to safely remember and celebrate there loved one’s trusted past who nurtured who they are today. A permanent anchor of pilgrimage where descendants can return to their roots today and tomorrow with honor. Needed was a office of tenure to ensure, organize, maintain and facilitate planning of cemetery and new burial space. Cemetery associations rules to prevent neglect and abandonment was necessary as well as state and local laws to govern cemetery and religious graveyards were enacted.
As I have come to understand working with the many cemetery associations today I see a mix of local board members. A mix of knowledge and skills as varied as the communities they serve, in townships, villages, towns and cities. However their bylaws and rules go back centuries and appear made of the same template from days of yore, not the families they serve today. I have met and talked personally with many Cemetery Association board members that have no idea or unsure of the bylaws or rules, answer through personal feelings or point me to local township board, or person they feel would know.
On occasion I have been invited to speak with some cemetery associations or select board members, as to the service we provide, but most surprising is the feeling of concern over how others cemeteries might address their local problems. I try to convey what others are doing which is not much of a difference in approach to their problems, followed by a feeling of relief and a spark of ideas to improve. I see caution to protect the knowledge of the board from other cemetery associations, but a willing curiosity of others and how their cemetery looks in comparison to others.
As bad and rundown most private, public cemeteries are today this gives me signs of hope and to the meaning of “Cemeteries stirs something inside of you.” So with todays open, internet and ease of communication how might the knowledge be shared openly with all cemeteries without feeling like a victim or second best.
So I am sorry to say I have not in the five years of providing service to cemeteries have I seen or heard of a private or public cemetery association that knows their bylaws, rules, what they stand for, or board members that are willing to do more then attend a meeting, no committees that bring new ideas, research or knowledge of cemeteries to the board meeting and no community outreach to include the families they serve.