Two Grandmas

During my visit to Germany in 2012 I also wanted to visit the grave of my two grandmothers. Yes, you read correctly, it’s one grave, and two dead grandmothers! The Germans are known for their pragmatic solutions, even when it comes to burials.

But first of all, I was just amazed once again how beautiful those German cemeteries are! And I especially liked the one in the city of Frankenthal. Take a look! It’s like a beautiful park!

Isn’t this a beautiful picture of all those watering cans? Germans really look after those graves. It’s part of who they are. If a family member is buried, with it comes the responsibility to look after that grave for at least 25 years!

I had agreed to meet my brother at the cemetery. I walked around and couldn’t find the grave. So much had changed… So I just kept walking until my brother showed up and he walked with me over to the grave site. Unfortunately our grandmas’ grave is not that pretty. It’s a bit overgrown and needs some TLC.

Apparently one of my brothers made this wooden sign that’s still there. It looks very weathered… But we figured if our parents signed a 25 yr contract, there are only 3 more years left until this grave will be gone.

My youngest brother told me how he liked to talk to the grandmothers. And so I shared my story. Once my grandmother Luise passed away, I used to come often to her grave site just to talk and to cry. Yes, I cried a lot after her passing. And somehow I felt safe to cry at a grave site. There used to be a bench just a few meters away where I would sit for hours and talk to my grandmother. And many times I prayed.

It is not unusual to see people at these grave sites and see them crying. So when my brother and I got there, we did not cry this time around. No, my brother had quite a few funny comments and stories. And I had to laugh so hard, it was a bit embarrassing. I laughed a lot this time. Some people looked at us very sternly, as if to say: don’t you know how to behave here? But they didn’t know how funny my brother can be!

No, I’m still not crying, just trying to hide my laughter!

But in the end, my brother and I did share a serious minute or so. My brother is also a preacher, you should know. He held a mini sermon for both of us. I remember him talking about how short our lives really are. He talked about living and doing things that do matter. All that quabling that went on between these two grandmothers over the years, in the end it did not matter, did it? They both ended up in the same grave. I wonder what they would have said to it if they had known about it. I wonder if they would have made peace with each other while they were still alive…

I don’t know who I will share my grave with… My kids will decide on that on. I better make sure to leave a legacy for them to talk about and to laugh about. Yes, I hope they will remember many funny things about me should they ever visit my grave.

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