...Really. You don't have to read this...
It's just going to sound "z0mG, emO!1" anyway.
...I'm not sure what possessed me to go to a graveyard of all places. I grabbed my camera and wandered there the other day -- right before sunset. That's my favorite time of day, you know. The light is gorgeous and gives the world an ethereal glow. Everything turns gold, vibrant, and at that angle, the sun brings out the richness of any color. ...I love it. So I decided to make my way down to the memorial park at the end of the road and take a few pictures of the light in the trees. Maybe run into a few squirrels.
... I don't know what I was thinking.
It was a ...surreal place. People wander through there all the time -- strolling, jogging, walking their dogs -- and I walk by it every so often. But I've never spent time in
a graveyard. Not really.
I guess the thought of coffins and bodies right below the ground... is a bit unsettling. It makes me uneasy. But not in the way you'd think. More like... a disrespectful sort of feeling. As if I take the world for granted, which I truly and honestly do not. ... But beyond these feelings of ambivalence, it makes me uneasy when I consider that every area and every headstone represents a person... a lifetime.... a potential friend and piece of neglected history...
I don't know how anyone can wander through there casually.
As I made my way among the headstones, having forgotten about the squirrels and the light, I couldn't help but read the messages inscribed upon each memorial plaque. Nor could I prevent myself from noticing the way each grave was arranged beside the next -- sometimes near family, or friends, or maybe even between strangers in a struggle for space beneath a particularly noble tree. There were a few bouquets of ever-colorful artificial flowers that dotted the area, too, and I found some sort of dark humor in that. But for the most part, what struck me most was the fact that that graveyard is aging. Birthdates in the mid to late 1800s; burial dates near or around 1940. Very few people remember the names or people lying there. Very few people visit those resting places anymore.
I came across a fallen headstone, as I wandered. It was face down in the grass; sprigs growing around and out from under it. Judging by the length of the grass and the sizable mounds of fallen leaves in every direction, it was safe to assume that the area isn't graced by people very often. It could be years before another person happens upon that particular grave site. So I... Well, I tried to lift it. Tried to flip it over so I could see what was inscribed on the intended front -- tried to make it lie face-up. In the squishy, moss-covered semi-mud known in this region as "the ground," it was hard to get any sort of footing, but I made do with what I had -- dirtying my knees and chaffing the palms of my hands in the process.
...I couldn't do it, though. It was too heavy. I couldn't even budge it. It looked like it'd broken from its pedestal too many years back, and I wouldn't be too surprised if it had put down roots where it landed.
...People create tombstones so that the world will remember them -- or at least remember their names. We can't all
make it into the history books. But when time and the weather rub away the human attempt to maintain immortality, what then?
Ironic, that later that same day, I'd find out.
...I'm just... so tired
of hearing about people passing away. Or discovering that family members only find time to talk to one another in their final moments -- after years of neglected opportunities.
I wish I knew how my father was doing. He's had to go through this too often lately. But he'll never say what's on his mind. He's one of those
He's just like I am. Hah, at least I know who I got it from.
...Six feet is a pretty substantial distance to put between yourself and a loved one...
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