I saw this story around Mother’s Day, and although restrictions are less severe than they were last month, I think it’s still worth talking about.
There was a Leamington cemetery that decided to close its gates on Mother’s Day because of all the potential for crowds when people were being discouraged from gathering. Because of that, people were upset and were threatening to “climb this damn fence” to lay flowers on their loved one’s grave because it’s Mother’s Day and they’re going to be there and nobody’s going to tell them no.
First of all, this year has been a terrible year if you happened to lose someone. Because there weren’t funerals, it was hard to get closure. I understand that. I understand that it would be kind of sad to not be able to do things as a group to think about your loved one.
But that’s where my understanding stops and my frustration starts. One of the women was saying that the people at the cemetery had decided to keep them out on this day “for whatever reason”. For whatever reason? It’s called a pandemic. The reason is they don’t want you to be joining Mommy Dearest inside those gates indefinitely. They’re doing this for your benefit. They didn’t say you could never come back. They said they didn’t want hoards of humanity coming at the same time. They said you could come any other day.
Second, the idea of “It’s mother’s Day and we’ll come because it’s tradition” is ridiculous. Would you come even in a tornado? No! You would realize that you’ll have to pick another day. Sometimes we have to adapt to the times. It sucks but it is what it is. You know who else can’t adapt to changing times? Toddlers! And we tell them to learn to change. Why have many of us regressed to tantruming children?
Finally, I think it’s this point that made me the angriest when I think about it. One of the women said “Our mother is here and we want to see her,” as if they were going to share tea and cookies with Mom. Your mother’s remains are here. Your mother is not here. She is not going to roll over in her grave and curse you for not coming. Be honest with yourself. You are doing this for you. There is nothing wrong with that, but you are doing this to honour your memory of your mom. You know that she is not the one deriving benefit from your visit.
I think this bugs me because growing up, some people would want to do something, and they would propose the idea by saying it was for my sake. I always believed it was for their own benefit, but saying it was for me made it harder for the rest of the family to say no. They would be saying no to the little guy, and then they would be made to feel like big meanies. Now, when I see people saying something is for someone else’s sake, but it’s obvious it’s mostly for their own, I tend to see right through it and it bugs me.
I think if they thought about it, even if they felt like their mother’s spirit was there, they should know she wouldn’t be upset if they came on another day. In fact, most moms would be ashamed to see their kids acting like this. I know mine would.