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.