Monday, October 17, 2011

Burying Uncle Glendon

The directions to the ranch are as follows:

Once you hit the dirt road, take a right at every fork. If you pass the "Last Chance Ranch", you still haven't gone far enough.

About three hours into the drive, you see this:
and this:

And then after you pass the Last Chance Ranch, you hit the Johnson Ranch. 

And that's where we buried Uncle Glendon. A true cowboy.
Glendon Johnson
His brother, my father-in-law, dedicated the grave, paying respect to the extreme power of nature in this part of the world. The man-made structures here can be about as inconsequential as a layer of dust over the landscape, easily wiped out by a strong wind or some other force of nature.

And yet, the Johnson ranch still stands, and will go on as the final resting place for Uncle Glendon, and his two children who preceded him in death, until nature decides otherwise. 

How often, with today's technology, does the title of pallbearer mean physically laboring to lower the casket of a loved one deep into the earth? 

How often do children get the chance to aid in the burial of a beloved elder, while dust suspended in the air clings to the tears on their cheeks?

How often do we get to cover our hands in the dirt that our loved ones are returned to? Tiny hands filling the empty space, sure of the how, but unsure of the why.

Dust to dust...
The old giving way to the new...

It was an unforgettable experience. We'll miss you Uncle Glendon. 


  1. Wow. Thanks Brodi. That was quite a day--well said.

  2. Wow. That was a really powerful post. Thanks for that.

  3. There is something wonderful about physically being able to say good-bye like that.
    Sorry for your loss.

  4. Oh, Brodi. Wow. Wonderfully said. So sorry.

  5. That was beautiful & the pictures are amazing.

  6. Really really beautiful. So glad you guys had the opportunity to make the trip. So sorry to hear about his passing. :(

  7. Wow. My husband would love to be buried like that. Assuming he can't talk me into his favorite plan of strapping him to a horse and turning him loose in the mountains. Great story. Sorry for your loss!

  8. Oh my goodness Brodi. This post and the pictures of your boys fingering dirt - it takes my breath away. Few of us have that kind of intimate experience with laying our loved ones down. So glad you were there.