Thursday, 10 November 2016

Track Number 5

Image result for graveyards
I have been thinking about graveyards recently. I’m not sure exactly why, but I suspect there are a number of reasons. I lost most of my family during the fall and winter, Halloween has just passed and of course Donald Trump was just elected president and that could spell the death of a great country. Who knows?

I like graveyards. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend a lot of time in graveyards but I do find them fascinating. I remember hearing that there are people who go into graveyards and take “rubbings” of famous or just interesting headstones. I often think that would be kind of an interesting hobby to have except I really don’t know what I would do with the rubbings once I brought them home. I have too much useless crap that I treasure in my home now.

When I walk through a graveyard I feel that I have to be reserved and respectful, not because I believe there are spirits of the dearly departed hanging about, but because there is a lot of love hanging around. People will inter their mothers, fathers, children and friends and that love stays. Well, it might. I’d like to think that it does.

The thing about cemeteries is that once one of your loved ones is buried and the headstone is in place, it becomes somewhat painful to visit. Not for every one of course, but it has been my experience that the living shy away from the place that hold the mortal remains of those they love. Initially, the grave may be visited fairly often, but as time goes by and life continues, longer periods come between visits. The first generation may continue to visit a parent on a yearly basis and perhaps if grandpa was especially well though of, the grandkids will drop by every now and then. Third generation visits would be pretty rare unless they were putting together a family history.

Surely I am not the only one to notice how empty graveyards are. Well, if you don’t count ghosts and why would you. So, why do we spend so much time and effort on graveyards when it is rare that anyone goes there on a regular basis? Could it be survivor’s guilt? We all die eventually. Maybe headstones are a way to mark that a life has been lived and meant something to someone.

I know I will be forgotten within a very few years after I pass. Hopefully I will be fond memories for a couple of generations and a funny story to be told at family gatherings.

“Remember the time when Poppa farted in the elevator…”

Maybe we need these places of quiet introspection as a society. Maybe the dead just need a quiet place to process the transition. Graveyards just might be travel hubs for the afterlife.


When my time comes, I’ll be taking the 20:45 express to the outer rim. Meet you on track number 5.
Image result for express to heaven

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