If I were still a resident of Manhattan and perished from the disease, nothing would please me more than to be interred (preferably just my ashes, but that could be left up to individual or family judgment) in a mass grave in Central Park. No marker at the site, please, but it would be nice to have my name listed alphabetically on a memorial stone at one of the entrances to the park or perhaps on the mall
The ground above would be planted over with grass and trees and not be a place of mourning. It would be parkland, where children might play and lovers might meet. It should not be a place for accumulating plastic flowers and wreaths.
For me a cemetery is not a place for mourning the dead but for celebrating that they had lived. Their lives were more important than their deaths.
My paternal grandfather, Jonathan Brooks May, was buried in Hollow Square Cemetery, near where I live today. When his wife died a couple of years later, she was buried in the cemetery in Greensboro, Alabama, and Grandpapa was dug up and interred beside her. I have regretted that action by my father’s oldest brother. I wish she could have been buried beside her husband in the closest thing the Mays have to a family cemetery.
I wonder if using city parks for burials might be greeted with some approbation if presented in a calm and non-morbid manner. I wonder if there might be enough families who would approve of such disposition to make more room for those wishing to have more traditional burials for their loved ones at a later date. In other words, present a choice.
I know which I’d choose.