snarkychaser's Blog

Chasing the Elusive is My Muse.


New Jersey, USA
January 01
Snarky is my elusive muse. It is grasping for the unobtainable that causes anguish, and in the anguish and negative space, creativity can flourish.However, I am afraid that Snarky has given me very little to chase after lately....maybe...if I'm really lucky, he will send me a picture of his poison ivy.



Editor’s Pick
APRIL 15, 2011 8:18AM

My Grave Investment

Rate: 15 Flag



Last month I bought my grave site in an ancient church yard. It is actually two places for “cremains”.   After I read Mary Roach’s Stiff-The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, I walked around for two weeks looking at everyone as if they were meat halfway to the morgue. In my middle age, I started wondering why I was even bothering to go to the gym- I was already half decayed flesh. Why bother with anything? Perhaps it was time to just take it easy and plan my death.

However, it was also at this time, in the gym, that a weight lifting friend brought up his burial plans. He is about 25 years older than I am and was a big coffee trader in his prime. He tells me that in the 70s he was written up in the Wall Street Journal for cornering the coffee market the way the Hunt brothers cornered the silver market. He and I often discussed investments and I had never thought of the cemetery plots as being a financial investment. Yet here he was lamenting that he had not bought his little plot in the revolutionary war graveyard when he could have purchased it for “fifty bucks”. I raced over to the church that afternoon to get my investment sewed up before inflation could make it unaffordable to me.

The church secretary was wonderful as she took me over to the available plots. She showed me the new wheelchair access that they had installed and asked me if I would like to be by a bench. She said that many preferred to be in shade. I was so flustered that I decided I would prefer to be in the shade by the bench to cover my bets. I did ask her if they had many drunken teens at night that liked the bench. Over the next few weeks I told everyone about my new investment. It was then that I learned that there is a big ‘after market’ for plots.

One friend told me the she and her husband owned several plots in three different cemeteries. "We have six in King Solomon but that is a Jewish cemetery and they won’t take me. We have three in Brooklyn and one up state.These are all from the days when you got married, bought your house and then bought your plots. There was so much death in the early part of the 20th century." she noted "My father is is in my upstairs coat closet but I don’t know what to do with him.” She told me about several web sites that were like a Grave Plot’s Craig List for people wanting to sell.

When I announced my new investment status on Face Book, I initially wrote that I was not going to be buried in Queens with my husband. I got a panicked call from him to take it down in case his mom thought that I had a problem with Queens. For the record, I don’t have a problem with Queens - except that I have no connection to the place and can’t drive very well. It just feels like such a schlep to get there. My next status -with picture -elicited lots of responses from people who were trying to sell grave sites in other places that they no longer felt connected to.

 Many people just want their ashes spread in their back yards. I will make a query to see if the Rutgers’s Master Gardener program might be interested in developing guidelines. But I am set for now.

Author tags:

cemetary plots, cremains, death

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I'm going out like Hunter S. Thompson, just a little cheaper. Johnny Depp paid for his rocket. I'm having my ashes put in a bottle rocket and ZOOM~
I've decided I want to be cremated and made into a diamond, which they can do :)

"Love your necklace!"
"Thank you! It's my Mom."
Scanner and Razzle- I love both of your ideas...It is not too late for me to change my mind...and I should have enough left over to do both...I can always resell my plot at a profit.
Loved this piece and it reminds me to get on my husband about our "final arrangements". I've buried people in my family who died before thier time and not one of them was prepared in anyway whatsoever. I think a lot of the people in my orbit think that talking about such things is some kind of jinx. Shhh, don't talk about it or you'll wake the sleeping reaper :)
Blue - I agree. My husband refuses to discuss it. That is why I went ahead with my own plans. I can't wait forever...
I love any book by Mary Roach! In fact, they can put her books with me in my coffin (or in the incinerator). Great writing on a grave topic! Here's to your life!
Mhold- I know - you picked up on my Spook reference earlier. I am happy to give Roach a plug. I am sick of people looking at me as if I am crazy when I tell them about the great Roach book I am reading. I put a recommendation on LinkedIn for Bonk and I got men telling me to take it down..because it was too licentious...and unprofessional.
I don't plan on dying - holding out for the inevitable amazing scientific breakthrough - but I'm happy that you are happy.
Matt- I get more and more insight into you...Look up Walt Disney...I think he used cryogenics. You can always be plasticized.
Gaud Scanner [!] Hunter S. Thomson said`
Good Folk Love Good People and Good Beer.
You reminded me ... Be Careful. A old adage`
''Flat Side Of The Grave" & "This Side Of Grave."

'He/She has no friend on this flat side of the grave'

sad too

Oscar Wilde had a Mother (duh) who was a folklorist.
'Ancient Legends' and Mystic Charms and Superstition'
a book ref Ireland.
Some folk have bad-tempers, disorders, and whooping cough. Dig a Grave and legend goes`
Dip them in the grave.
Pull the nasty one out.
Evil spell can be broke.
That was in the 'old days`
We got chronic disorders`
Look at any Fox TV's kook`
And the are dead-grave-ills.
Ay Graveyard no step on toes.
No stub toes on old dead bones.
No, you don't want people to have to negotiate Queens! Much enjoyed this--the humor coexisting with the practicality. I always wanted to read "Stiff"...but so far my source reference is "Six Feet Under " :)
Razzle, one of my kids took a death-and-dying class in college and learned about that option. She called to say, "If I did both you and Dad, I could have earrings!"
Is that a photo of the site? Very interesting. Good subject and a well deserved EP! When we cleaned out my mother in law's house we found someone's ashes in the attic and my ex put them in the box going to the Salvation Army. So many ways we all end up!!
Congratulations, Snarky. It's not everyone who is able to be so practical about death. For sure we are all going to die and if we don't say where we want to go afterwards then someone else will choose.

My place is reserved though not through my conscious choice; I had a stillborn baby in 1962 & he was buried in my husband's National Cemetery plot. My husband joined him in 1983 and there's room for me on top. Kind of comforting to know we will all be there together. My daughter does not want burial - has chosen cremation. I hope whoever tends her final wishes will sprinkle part of them over the rest of our little family.

Another practical matter: have you done your Living Will (Advance Healthcare Directive) - which stipulates what medical interventions you want and appointing someone to see that your wishes are followed? You can also list organ and tissue donation in the directive.

May we all go gently into the good night.
Congrats, they put on big Salon!!!! r.
Art- perhaps the only spell I'm breaking is our imagined immortality.

Dirndl - I am afraid that I am giving Queens a bad rap...but I did live there once for 2 years.

High Lonesome. This option was not in Stiff but there might be enough of me to make earrings.

Zanelle- Yikes...that is a story of what happens to procrastinators. Better to make wishes known while alive.

Maggie- Yes...I have made arrangements and if you look at my last link...I need to make them for my online dead self.

Desert- Thanks.
Westerners are too obsessed with their death and view it as a commercial experience. Life should be fierce and glorious and death should be romantic and glorious. If you are worthy of paradise, who cares what happens to your remains? They are nothing. A husk. The body is meaningless, when dead.
Mohammed- I agree. I am not concerned with my husk particularly. It is for my children that I did this. I wanted them to have a place to visit that was part of their childhood. If they don't with to sit on the bench in the shade to chat, that will be OK. I just wanted them to have an option. I am sure that I will be following them around ( in their heads)whether I am alive or dead.
Congrats on the EP. I don't even care if they have a funeral. Hope they have a big party and scatter my ashes over the mountains. -R-
Like the blog. I don't need to worry about this, since my father bought plots, next to his in laws. The plot is right next to US 40.
Family bend planning my funeral, since I told them I have chronic illness. I e have bend trying sell the plot for 25 years, since I wanted to be cremated and ashes spread at a lake in OH, or in the county I live in CA. Since then, I want by body donated to medical research, which still will be cremated. Now I just need to get it in writing and tell the family. I'll let them have celebration of life, but I will choose the music, since I don't want no minister or christian music at this event. It will be held at a lake in OH, yet I will have ashes spread in CA. Thanks again for your blog.
Christine- Thanks. I hope we won't have that celebration for a while...You are life affirming to many people.

James- If you have Ohio friends on Face Book...try telling everyone. Maybe HS friends would want the plots. As for donating bodies to med research, I have not made the plunge yet. I am not sure how useful I would be except for a crash test dummy or face lift ( maybe boob lift) project. Read Roaches Stiff to learn more. I certainly don't have any illusions that my brain will precipitate discoveries in the field of science...It is just meat in the end.
heck creamation is good. No need for some expensive box and lowered in a co9ld place. Creamation is the coming thingt. After my body is burned and the ashes are their take them to the IRS and give it to them. They love to screw people and a nice way of saying here I am I have nothing so yu receive nothing.
Years ago one of the Waikiki Beach Boys got a commission job selling plots. A speaker of Hawaiian Creole English, our first language here, his pitch line was, "Eh- I like bury You!"
Is there any part of the world where we still eat people? When they are dead, that is.... I am curious. Which vaguely worries me.
Norm- The problem with cremation is that it releases mercury in the atmosphere from fillings...It is actually quite an environmental hazard. I hope to get rid of all of mine before I die.

Seer- Maybe we are related?

OAsurfer- very interesting...kind of sad though. I am reading about the colonization of the Pilgrims now and this reminds me of this.

Wendy- Read Stiff- There are always rumors.
ms snarkyc ... late here, been away ... i hope i am not finding you gravely ill after your inventment ... rated ... Will
I'm feeling torn between having my ashes scattered in my small garden and having a green burial. The process of cremation creates pollution. A lot in my case because I have a lot of mercury-based fillings. Cremation is cheaper. But I spend extra for organically grown veggies because I think they are better for the environment and my body. I think a green burial is probably worth the money -- it's not enough that it would deprive my grandchildren of a college education.
That looks like The Prespeterian church in Mendham.
I always knew I was just 'meat', it's no problem thinking that when I'm done with this 'meat-suit', it's up for grabs! Assuming that no one else is around to say different, just cut up the pieces and distribute at will (I'm an organ donor anyway). Parts is parts...:)

Thanks for the post,
The Juicy Crone