I live in Southern California and visited Octavia Butler's grave last week. Here is a link to what the grave site looks like http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13473971.

 

When I got there, it was difficult to find the exact spot where she was buried. Multiple attendants from the funeral home came out onto the grounds to help me locate it.

 

Ultimately, I used the landmarks in the photos above to find it on my own. It was totally overgrown with grass, completely covered up and overgrown. They sent someone out from the grounds staff to clear it for me after to finish what I'd started by hand. The gardener then asked me if there were any more of my relatives that I needed to have uncovered (with the weed-whacker). I guess she is kind of like a relative to me.

 

It was apparent that no one had visited for a long time. If you live in the area you should look her up. I think Ms. Butler lives on in her writing so it probably doesn't matter to her what her grave looks like....but still.

 

just wanted to share my thoughts on the experience. I am writing my doctoral dissertation on her work and this was something I had to do in the course of my writing. Next time, I think I will take flowers to the little plot that is right next to a cinder block wall. She certainly beautified and challenged this world before she left it too soon.

 

We should challenge ourselves to be and do more to beautify this existence as well.

 

Ayana J.

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Ayana, thank you for sharing this experience, and for asking that the overgrowth be cleared away.  It reminds me of Alice Walker's writing about her search for Zora Neale Hurston's grave site in Florida.  I never travel to southern CA, but if I am ever able to go I would try to pull a few weeds, or even to plant bulbs (perhaps daffodils or hyacinths) if it is allowed.

 

I only met Ms. Butler once, but enjoyed speaking with her and like many here felt a sense of loss when she passed away.

thank you ayana, that was so thoughtful and loving of you to do that. i hope in time to come, you will converse with us all on the various aspects of madame butler's work. i couldn't have picked a better person to discuss then madame butler (that's just my thoughts)

Dear Zizi,

 

Thank you for sharing the story of Alice Walker looking for Zora Hurston's grave. I don't think they allow silk flowers or planted ones, but I can check. They did say that I could leave some literature about her there for people to take in the future. I will check on what other contributions that I can make or that we can make as a community of hose who love and respect her work.

 

Ayana

Zizi said:

Ayana, thank you for sharing this experience, and for asking that the overgrowth be cleared away.  It reminds me of Alice Walker's writing about her search for Zora Neale Hurston's grave site in Florida.  I never travel to southern CA, but if I am ever able to go I would try to pull a few weeds, or even to plant bulbs (perhaps daffodils or hyacinths) if it is allowed.

 

I only met Ms. Butler once, but enjoyed speaking with her and like many here felt a sense of loss when she passed away.

Hi Mark,

I am only doing what any of us would do if we had the opportunity. thanks for your kind words. I look forward to the opportunity of discussing her life and work with you all as well!

 

Ayana


Mark Knox said:

thank you ayana, that was so thoughtful and loving of you to do that. i hope in time to come, you will converse with us all on the various aspects of madame butler's work. i couldn't have picked a better person to discuss then madame butler (that's just my thoughts)
ayana, i humbly and graciously welcome and await anything you can offer to the octavian files.

what a lovely way to honor her. when im go down there i wont miss a chance to stop by and visit her. they can hear us when we come and they appreciate that.

 

I am sure she would appreciate a visit and more reading of her books!

Thank you for sharing, and clearing.

I read and bought every book from blue fur alien to Fledgling with the exception of the Parable -- don't know why i couldn't get into them.

I would love to read your dissertation! How wonderful to be able to study her and apply your scholarship to this beloved person and genre!

Ayana, you were right on time for this.

I recently got accepted into the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing Workshop for the 2012 Class, and was awarded an Octavia Butler Scholarship from the Carl Brandon Society. It was Octavia herself who told me about applying to Clarion years ago.

Last weekend I was watching a documentary on Zora Neale Hurston (one of my other favorite writers), and had an epiphany: I needed to go visit the gravesites of people who have influenced my life. I started thinking, "I need to go thank Octavia, Zora, Malcolm X and others who have shaped my mind."

 

Thank you for posting this. I will be in Los Angeles next weekend to present at an Organization of Black Screenwriter's meeting (I'm 2nd Vice President), and will go visit Octavia right after to say thank you. And I'm bringing flowers! And cowrie shells, some Haitian rum, and my cuban cigar!

 

Best wishes on your dissertation. I would love to read it when it's published!

Hi Lisa,

What a wonderful opportunity to attend Clarion with a scholarship beating her name. Please let me know how your visit goes.I would love to hear about how Clarion goes a well.

I an working on a website that presents some of my research, tentatively set to launch by her June 22nd birthday. I will be sure to keep you all posted.

Are you local, our visiting from afar?

Ayana

I'm in San Diego, but I go to L.A. a lot. I'm looking forward to Clarion, and will try to post a blog on BSFS to let others know how it all goes down. I want to encourage others to participate and take advantage of the opportunity that Clarion affords its graduates.

 

Please keep me posted of your website so I can share it with my friends. Are you on facebook?

 

I actually start Clarion two days after Octavia'a birthday.

 

Let's keep in touch! 
 
Ayana J said:

Hi Lisa,

What a wonderful opportunity to attend Clarion with a scholarship beating her name. Please let me know how your visit goes.I would love to hear about how Clarion goes a well.

I an working on a website that presents some of my research, tentatively set to launch by her June 22nd birthday. I will be sure to keep you all posted.

Are you local, our visiting from afar?

Ayana

Beautiful, thanks for sharing!

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