God has blessed me with few deaths in my immediate family--my paternal grandfather of a heart attack when I was four, my abuelito de my mom's side of old age, two cousins at a young age, and the passing away of my maternal grandmother last week at age 95. We buried her yesterday at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange (when this Catholic dies, I'd be surprised if the Diocese of Orange would even grant my parents a garbage can for my body to rest because of my pedo-priest-exposing ways). While standing in the shade, my dad pointed something out to me that has gnawed at me ever since and explains this post.
In order to expedite the burial, workers used a backhoe loader to shovel dirt into my Mama Chela's grave. Since Holy Sepulcher's grounds are on a slight slope, the backhoe balanced itself by using two pneumatic arms as anchors. But to do this, the arms rested on top of other memorial markers, protected by thousands of pounds of pressure by cheap wooden tablets.
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Call me old-fashioned, but whatever happened to men with a shovel? Getting a backhoe loader to rest against the memorial slabs, or to see it run over them, was offensive to the memory of the faithful departed. If I saw a machine do that to the markers of my grandparents, I'd be pissed. I'm sure this is standard operating procedure for all cemeteries nowadays (I've never been to a non-Catholic funeral), but the practice should stop.