Almost 10 years ago, As Ed and I turned 60, we began to talk about death. Not in a grim sort of way, but simply about where we wanted to be buried and how to make decisions that would free our children from having to deal with these matters at a naturally stressful time.
Having lived in Virginia Beach for close to 40 years, we felt strongly that this was the community where we had our deepest roots, where we had forged friendships, tried to make a difference and where one of our daughters, Jennifer, and her family lived. We were also aware of the fact that space was quickly filling up at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk and that demographics indicated the greater part of the Jewish community was now living in Virginia Beach.
Working with a committee of rabbis, temple presidents and community leaders, we established a burial section for the Jewish community in accordance with Jewish law and tradition in Princess Anne Memorial Park located on Great Neck Road in Virginia Beach.
Since then, Dignity Memorial, the parent company for Princess Anne Memorial Park, has landscaped the area designated for the Jewish community. There are two distinct sections separated by a low hedge: one for families wishing to be buried with Jews only and a larger section for Jews married to Jews, as well as interfaith couples. Additionally, there are private plots for couples as well as hedged family estates in a beautifully wooded, adjoining section.
“Having lived here for 43 years (more than any other place) it was only natural to decide to be buried with our friends at Princess Anne Memorial Park,” says Mimi Karesh. “And Virginia Beach was a natural since we never lived in Norfolk. When Betsy told us that plots were available, we decided to make the decision and have that out of the way for our children. We were able to pay for it over a year’s time with no interest.”
Dignity Memorial also offers the possibility of exchanging burial sites. For people who later move to a different area, a transfer policy allows individuals to exchange a burial site for one in another cemetery belonging to Dignity Corporation.
Do you want to think about a final resting place? Probably not. The reality, however, is that we must do it before the fact or leave it for our children to handle at a time of loss.
Ed and I invite you to join us at 7pm on Sunday, June 7 or Thursday, June 25 for more information and some homemade desserts. We look forward to seeing you and to having a discussion with Kimberly Keon, sales manager and Chris Gordonn, sales supervisor.
RSVP to Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-486-3402 or 408-4216.
by Betsy Karotkin