Tuesday 27 March 2007

A Place to Grieve.

Me and my friend spent a good after match chat in the churchyard of what I'm guessing was the Protestant Collegiate church in Shrewsbury on Saturday. We came upon a whole pavement of headstones. This got us thinking.

Most of the engraving on most of the stones was gone. Got you thinking, I said, about eighty people buried in front of us and in most cases the engraving was gone. As I pointed out, for about a year each one of those entombments would have been cried over, flowered over etc. till one day it just wore off and now we can't even read who's buried there.

Got us into a discussion about the dead.

My grandfather died in 1989. I can remember when he died and his grave was flowered ever week.
Now I'm not sure if anyone ever goes there.

Maybe, I thought we just need that time to continue talking to someone who filled a vital role in our life before we can accept they'll never answer back.

That's maybe why Burial has always provided answers Cremation never can.

There is wisdom in the way people did things, sometimes.
Even if they didn't know it.


Anonymous said...

I think mainly once the will is probated the ones who were"forgotten" take revenge. The ones who were not forgotten take holidays.

Anonymous said...

My father passed away last October. I've been to his grave once since then. To be honest I didn't really feel anything then. I never got the sensation that he was there or that I was in his presence.

But then again I've always handled death a bit differently than most. I seem to "get over it" really quick. I'd guess the way I frame the world makes a pretty big difference there.

On the other hand I do feel that ache when I visit places we would go together when I was a kid.

Interesting to consider though. Those folk didn't pass on all that long ago, yet so far as we are concerned, they are forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Alex: I'm sorry to hear that.

My grandfather died some years ago and I never forgave him for wanting his ashes scattered. I have no focus point, no place to go to. He is always alive in my dreams, often with some stupid explanation as to where he's been over the past 5 years.

Anonymous said...

I find cemeteries to be places of peace. Its where your hurts go to die. Where you can see others in the process of loss. You can put your life in perspective.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sentiment. We had considered the scattering bit but our funeral director (a marvelous man) strongly discouraged it. A physical place — a center — seems to be very important to us.

We heeded his direction mainly because now there will be this place we can bring my son to visit grandpa.

...That's the worst part. What could (arguably should) have been.

Anonymous said...

I have been to secular cremations and fond a semse of unfillfillment. A man I knw well had a completely secular/atheist cremation some years back. I felt I had never really said goodby to him. I guess we need that.
I wanted to show my grandad the merit badges I had got in Scouts- that what I tild him by his grave in 89. Sounds sad. But he died the week I was sworn in.

Phishez, you're right. It fills you wth a huge sense of the importance of living for the day.

Alex, you have a good philospohy on this, but then, that dosn't surprise me.

Anonymous said...

My father in law was cremated and we have the ashes in the shed, with his parents. When we first had them, it was our kids who wanted to see them, trying to work out how a loved human could fit into a box the size of a two litre bottle of juice. So many questions. It is a focal point for their sadness. A year later and we don't have to bring the ashes out so often.

Part of me is for burying and another is for cremating. I have ambiguous thoughts about organ donation, wondering what my relatives would think, saying goodbye to a less than complete human being.