August 23, 2016
Bryon and I were both fans of the show How I Met Your Mother. Bryon liked to think he was like Barney because they both were full of snarky comments. I saw him more him in Marshall, the lawyer. Whenever Marshall would win an argument by logic, he would proudly proclaim, “Lawyered!” I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times Bryon “lawyered” me in an argument, however, I can tell that I have lawyered him twice. One time may or may not have been an argument about one of our families so I will refrain from discussing that here. The second time I lawyered him was an argument about cemeteries.
Bryon and I didn’t talk extensively about death. We spoke about our parents plans for what they wanted to do with their remains. I asked Bryon what he wanted. He said to be buried and I was happy because that was what I wanted. Bryon then said he wanted a huge obelisk monument and a bench and a courtyard for all his mourners. He also thought it would be cool to buy a huge section of a cemetery so all of his descendants could be buried there. He was not one to think small. I told him he better start saving money because cemetery plots are not cheap.
A few years later, we got into a discussion about which cemetery we should be buried in when we die. You know, decades later after we have lived long and full lives. Bryon talked about his desire to be buried in Albany Rural Cemetery. Albany Rural Cemetery is full of history and has many famous politicians buried there, the most notable being President Chester A. Arthur. I said we need to be buried in a Catholic Cemetery because we are Catholic. Bryon brought up that his grandparents were buried there and I pointed out that that section of the cemetery seemed to be crowded. Bryon states that there we available plots in the back of that section, near the woods. I ended the discussion by stating “Well, I guess whoever dies first loses this argument!” Bryon just looked at me and I said “You have been lawyered.” Granted I didn’t necessarily win the argument by logic but I logically ended the argument or at least pushed it to a later time. I know Bryon would go into a court hoping to get the hearing delayed so therefore I think I can correctly considering this “lawyering.”
My two friends picked me up again the that morning. We first had a meeting with our Parish Priest in the rectory to discuss the funeral Mass. I was given a book full of readings to choose from and suggestions of songs, though I already knew what I wanted for music.
After the meeting at church, we made our way over to Albany Rural Cemetery. We arrived at the cemetery early so we decided to explore a little bit. I showed my friends where Bryon’s grandparents were buried. We drove by President Chester A. Arthur’s grave. Then we got lost looking for the main office. We continued to drive around the cemetery until we finally found a sign that directed us to the main office.
We arrived at the main office and met the staff member who would helping us select a plot. We decided that it would be easiest if he drove around with us. We drove to the first plot. I stood on the plot and just tried to see what I felt. The day before I experienced the most surreal moment of my life while choosing Bryon’s casket but this moment is definitely a close second. The cemetery worker asked me if I wanted to buy this plot. I was not satisfied. I thought this was supposed to be like House Hunters. I wanted to know what all our options are before making a choice. This would be where Bryon would be located forever. I wanted to make the right choice. I would be purchasing two adjacent plots even though I don’t know what my life is going to bring but I want to make sure I have a place for me next to Bryon should I need it.
I stood at the second plot. Like the first plot, I stood on the actual plot but it did was not restful. I could hear lots of cars on a nearby freeway. This was not our plot.
The third plot was off the beaten path in a beautiful, quiet wooded area. We didn’t even get out of the car. While Bryon would have appreciated that people had to drive out of the way to see him but he was the social and would want to be where the party was. It would have been perfect for me but it was not the place for Bryon.
We finally arrived at the fourth plot. It was in a part of the cemetery with a more “populated” location. I realized that it was the same section that Bryon’s grandparents. Like Bryon has said in our cemetery argument, there was a row in back right before the woods began that was empty. I stood on a couple of different plots to get a feeling and then I made my choice. This was it.
We drove back to the cemetery office to finalize the purchase. I was given a folder with cemetery information and a list of rules for picking out a headstone. I asked a few questions. I handed over my Capital One credit card. With the swipe of a credit card, I bought my second piece of property and it was not the lakeside cabin I always envisioned.