I’ve been in Minneapolis for the last few days visiting my friend, Erin.

We’ve had a great time catching up, eating and drinking too much, playing games, and enjoying the summer-like sunshine in the backyard. It’s been the perfect getaway with a cherished friend. One of the highlights of the trip was participating in an Anderson Family annual tradition.

On Memorial day Erin’s family always accompanied her grandmother, Jeanne Anderson, to  the graves of Jeanne’s parents and grandparents, and later her husband. The visits included leaving flowers and tidying up the grass around their final resting place. The visits were not sad or melancholy but rather a fun traditional outing followed by a family lunch.

In 2008 Jeanne passed away, but the tradition lives on – with a bit of a twist. The day of Jeanne’s funeral the family was gathered at the Lakewood Cemetery to say their final goodbyes, but before the casket was lowered into the ground an extended relative suggested the family gather for a photo. This seemed a little out of place but everyone complied nonetheless. The photo taken was as awkward as one would imagine a family photo around a casket might be!

So the following year, as the family gathered at the cemetery on Memorial Day, it was decided an inappropriate family photo was in order.  And thus began the new family tradition of visiting the family grave sites on Memorial Day and taking ridiculous photographs. This year was no different and I was pleased to be able to take part.


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