Let’s be honest: Sometimes you just want to daydream about your ideal tomb in peace without your kids yapping away in the background. Here are some quiet cemetery activities that’ll keep your little ones occupied so you can fantasize about your eternal resting place without interruption.
1. Have them trace epitaphs onto printer paper: This is a great way to win yourself a little quiet time to dream about the stately, gleaming mausoleum in which you’d one day like to stow your corpse. Your kids will have a blast rubbing their pencils over the grooved words of remembrance, freeing you to ponder the important stuff, like should the pink kershaw granite walls of your sepulcher be inlaid with precious stones or gold-leaf latticework? And should your eight-ton red granite sarcophagus be carved in your likeness, or should you go with something more like that funky Moabite she-goddess design you’ve been drooling over? Decisions, decisions!
2. Have them find the tombstones of the person who lived the longest and the person who lived the shortest: Can they find someone who was over 100? How about a child who was younger than three? Once you issue the challenge, your kids will spend hours running up and down the rows of tombstones calculating life spans, leaving you alone to fantasize about eternity in your fairytale burial vault, with the lush velvet carpeting of its mourning chamber awash in amber light from the stained glass and the 30-meter-high walls gently echoing Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” from an antique music box playing on infinite loop. Simply thinking about your decayed remains in such a fabulous crypt makes your heart flutter with excitement!
3. Have them gather up dead flowers and make leis out of them: You can buy yourself a good hour or two to contemplate the specifics of your fantasy tomb’s magnificent stone facade by having your kids do a fun and easy craft like this one. While they’re twisting wilted bouquets into festive Hawaiian adornments, you can finally pin down whether you want gargoyle statues looking down over your grave’s colossal wrought-iron gate or something a little more personal, like sculptures of all your childhood dogs. Both choices would look sublime in the twilit glow of the dual eternal flames perched atop the Grecian portico, and both would handsomely complement the marble bust of you as a centaur that commandeers the entryway.
4. Have them search the ground for any teeth that might have risen to the surface of the soil: Do dead people’s teeth actually come up through the dirt in cemeteries? Probably not, but your kids don’t know that. Just send them off to comb the grounds for loose incisors, and then find a nice shady place to close your eyes and dwell on your dream mausoleum’s spectacular bronze dome, flanked by four gilded finials and overlooking a bucolic, tree-lined reflection pond. “Whose tomb is this?” you imagine passersby one day asking. “Cyrus the Great? The daughter of a pharaoh?” Just the thought of it makes you feel like royalty.
5. Have them say a short prayer at every grave: Teaching your children to show respect for those who have left us AND getting some alone time to dream about palatial digs for your rotting cadaver? Talk about a win-win! And remember: The bigger the graveyard you go to, the more time you’ll have by yourself to plan out the sprawling network of catacombs that will one day inter your lifeless, desiccated body.
6. Have them fantasize about their own dream graves: It’s not just adults who love fantasizing about their ideal graves, your children will love it, too. Give your kids some colored pencils and have them draw how they would like to one day be entombed. Encourage them to design a casket that resembles something important to them, like an army tank or the Stanley Cup. Perhaps they want a crypt that looks like SpongeBob’s house or the ice castle from Frozen. Maybe they’d like their best friend from school sealed in the vault with them so they can play for all eternity. The sky’s the limit, and who knows, maybe they’ll even give you some ideas for your own dream grave!