Burials, Gravestones and Terror in the Night

Posted on October 21, 2016 by Martin Oaks under Uncategorized
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On my fifth birthday my parents gave me a copy of the classic Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

The ninth chapter in the book is called “Terror in the Graveyard.” Reading this chilling account for the first time is an experience I will never forget. Muff Potter, Doctor Robinson and company grave robbing in front of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn was the stuff of my nightmares for several days afterward. Even in re-reading the chapter today, I am still moved by the powerful imagery.

Managing an historic cemetery now is like a punctuation mark applied years later to the arch of my childhood.

Martin Oaks Cemetery is a rustic slice of Lewisville, Texas history. Years ago, this cemetery was part of the venerable Martin cattle ranch. It contained plots exclusively of this extended family. The ranch was finally sold off, but the cemetery remained and ultimately became open to the public. The old Martin gravestones were slowly replaced with more modern markers like the one pictured below. Today, there are still some Martin family members around who will eventually be interred here.

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The history of cemeteries and gravestones date back to time immemorial. Some scholars assert that the burying of the dead is one of the first detectable religious rituals. These practices certainly date back to the Neanderthals, who included in their graves various tools and keepsakes.

Respecting physical remains through burial seems to be part of the human DNA.

Bringing closure to the deceased’s life for the remaining family members is quite obviously an important step in the grieving process. If there is anything I have learned about death care it is that absent a some type of memorial service, even if it is witnessing a cremation, is a critical step in the recovery process – families who choose not to have some sort of service frequently are the families who struggle with grief. The funeral directors who use Martin Oaks will be glad to discuss options in this regard.

Families seeking to buy plots at Martin Oaks can contact us directly about those plots. Similarly, we offer a full line of markers that are both beautiful and affordable. Here are some examples:

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If you have an interest in our gravestones, please view our Purchase Headstones & Urns page.

People frequently ask if cremation precludes burial. The answer to that question is definitely no. We bury urns in Martin Oaks Cemetery (with a marker) in an area we refer to at the Urn Garden. There are lots of options, please do not hesitate to call, we will put you in touch with a funeral director who can specifically tailor what we do to your needs.

Post Script

We receive a lot of compliments, about the topography of our cemetery, the pastoral atmosphere and the beautiful headstones we have – they range from the modern ones we sell to headstones that were much more in vogue 100 years ago. Walking through Martin Oaks is taking a journey that highlights many years in our society.

In the last six years, we have received a number of offers to photograph the cemetery: as we related elsewhere, a Hollywood producer and a number pf nature photographers wanted access. We feel that the charm and peaceful surroundings are best left undisturbed by any such commercial enterprise.

Please feel free to visit us at any time. We are just a few block away from downtown Lewisville, Texas, a few blocks that really amount to a world away.

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