Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh, Bury Me on the Lone Prairie....but not in Douglass

Douglass, Kansas was my childhood home. Both sets of my grandparents lived their lives on farms around Douglass and later retired to the town. Rather unusually, both sides of my family are buried in one corner of the Douglass cemetery. All four of my grandparents, my mother and father, my aunt and uncle and my dear cousin, my great aunt and uncle... all in eternal rest within a few feet of one another.

There is an older cemetery in Butler county, located across the road from the little Cumberland church, south of Augusta. The old settlers, early to arrive in Butler county on my mother's side of the family are buried there.

There is another cemetery located on a hill top with a view of surrounding prairie where other members of the maternal side of the family are buried, but I do not remember the name of that cemetery, nor how to get there. I only recall visiting there once.

When my time comes, I hope I am not buried with the rest of my family. It is getting "crowdy" in the Douglass cemetery, especially in our corner. I know it would make it easier for visitors to find us all clumped up there together, but honestly, who makes the rounds?

I want to be buried in a small, township cemetery somewhere, hopefully in the Flint Hills, far from any town. I hope it is so far out that eventually the cemetery will be forgotten and reclaimed entirely by the prairie. I want to sink back into the earth, the secrets of my life taken by the soil and wind - the difficult noise of living a human life forever stilled. My spirit might then be free to roam with the memory of the buffalo and the Indian hunters, the rightful owners of the prairie - those past shadows that somehow sifted into my heart and soul, never giving me peace in this lifetime.


Jenni said...

I live just outside of Douglass. We are new here, but I have visited that cemetery. I've also been to the cemetery across from the Cumberland Church. I wonder if the hilltop cemetery you're talking about is on that winding back road between Santa Fe Lake Road and Augusta. I can't remember the name of it at the moment, but locals call the road Thunder Road, though the name changes with the twists and turns.

Older or small, country cemeteries are such interesting places. They have so much more character than the big cemeteries in cities, and they're more peaceful, too. Even these are too crowded for me, though. I'd rather be buried in a small family cemetery out in the county away from paved roads or in some quiet spot on our own land.

Jackie said...

Hi, Jenni - Glad to meet another Douglassite! I believe the hilltop cemetery is east of Douglass somewhere. Some of my older relatives will know that one, I just can't remember the name of it. The only thing I recall for certain is that we left Douglass, going East.