I’m obviously…

…moving into the darker side of the lunar circle.

Either I post nothing, or I post about the things that’s currently irking me.

Today, it’s graveyards. And no. I’ll not not post anything – that’s completely unthinkable!

Now me, I’m not a great believer in going to visit the grave of a loved one. I prefer to remember them through the things I have that belonged to them. The tools I have of my father. The old kitchen table that used to stand in my grand mom’s kitchen around which we spent many happy afternoons. My Grand father’s purple shirt, and his old PJ’s πŸ˜‰

Personally, I will be cremated in a cardboard box, and my ashes either stored in one of those remembrance walls, or just chucked somewhere. It’s not as if anybody will even remember me in 50 years time.

But visiting old graveyards – it’s a walk back in history. On my grandparents’ farm, they had a family graveyard. Soldiers that died in the war were also buried there, people that died during the great flu epidemic. Most of them don’t have names, but each has a headstone that marks their passing.

The reason I’m writing about graveyards today, well, no real reason. I’ve just been thinking about everything in my country that’s rapidly going downhill with both National and local government, not much better than thieves and murdering criminals.

Every graveyard I’ve been unlucky enough to have to go to in the past few years looked like a dusty field, filled with holes. The graves were not filled up. No maintenance done on the actual property itself, meaning, no manicured lawns and great old shade trees where you can sit and think about your loved ones. Just dusty expanses of thrown away people. No care taken – I mean, they’re dead not so? Why worry about them, they don’t know anything.

It was not always like this. In times gone by, graveyards were well kept, and looked after. The municipality did maintenance as a matter of course.

Now, as with so many other things, maintenance has fallen by the wayside. Does not seem to be a concept readily available on the African continent. And I have to wonder why.

Since funerals and headstones in the African culture is huge. It’s a whole day thing, with lots of food and singing and processions and customs. Everybody in, what looks like, a five mile radius comes to the funeral. Men to the one side, women to the other side. With tables and cool drinks and lots of singing and dancing.

Why then, if it’s so important to them to send somebody off in this manner, do they not care for the places they bury these people in? Does it not make sense that if a funeral is so important to you, that the actual place of funeral should be too?

Graveyards are, as a matter of course, not happy places. They are places of sorrow. The end of the line for both the living and the dead. I just think it might be slightly easier to bear if you can see that your loved one will be interred in a place that does not look like a desolate wasteland. Even if it is just to make it easier on those that are left behind.

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27 comments on “I’m obviously…

  1. OK a rather morbid post, but I to a degree agree. I just want to be cremated, my ashes spread on the mountain and to be forgotten as the life cycle has been completed, but never ever do I want to be in a grave yard – it is a waste of space and a target for neglect and sad forgetfulness.

    • Yes H, quite a morbid post, but it’s been turning in my head for a few days now.had to be said.
      I’m with you. After harvesting what they can use, I must please just be burnt to ashes and whatever they do with ma afterwards, I don’t really care.I’m dead in any case πŸ˜‰

  2. I’m going to be cremated. My daughter asked what she should then do with the box, when she had a brilliant idea. She will take me with her when she is buried. Made me cry. I only have one child.

    • That is a nice thought Tess.A Special kid you got there!
      Dunno what will happen to my ashes once I’m gone, but hey – that’s up to whoever’s still left once I’m gone.

  3. I’ve never been to a graveyard before, I haven’t even been to a funeral. I used to drive past the cemetery by the Joburg botanical gardens quite often though and it looked decentish from what I could see

    • I’ve been in a few. Maybe the ones I’ve been in were the exception, maybe they were the rule and Westcliff the exception.
      This is, after all, the world according to Ghia, so I can only comment on what I’ve seen.

  4. Well over the last few months
    I had to plan a head due to circumstances
    Beyond my control
    The Place that I will be laid to rest is a graveyard
    In a place called Sennen it overlooks Cape Cornwall
    My dad was buried there on the 2 June 2011
    I went there for one last look and put flowers
    On Dad and said a prayer the other day
    The crazy thing is that my dad’s grave was the last
    New grave dug and such a special church
    Just 520 years before Jesus Christ
    Have a beautiful tomorrow
    β•”β•—
    ║║╔═╦╦╦═╗*. . *
    β•‘β•šβ•£β•‘β•‘β•‘β•‘β•©β•£* Danielβ€’*´¨`*β€’
    β•šβ•β•©β•β•©β•β•©β•β•.*.*

    • Meaning you know when you’re going to die?
      Not so good D!
      Being laid to rest in a beautiful graveyard – might even want me to not be cremated, but the ones I’ve seen here, I would not lie there, even if dead!
      Hope your day turns out to be less grey than mine πŸ™‚

      • Hello you I don’t think anybody knows when they’re going to die
        But you know your own body, so everyday i make a special effort
        Into what i do best and that’s being the best friend to everyone
        Loving life it’s so precious
        I don’t know of anyone who has devoted every second
        For so many years praising someone who gave so much
        I think myself i have a fantastic page
        But the response i have had and the seriousness
        of the corruption is poor maybe i should have worded better
        But i did my very best
        Have a happy evening

        β•”β•—
        ║║╔═╦╦╦═╗*. . *
        β•‘β•šβ•£β•‘β•‘β•‘β•‘β•©β•£* Danielβ€’*´¨`*β€’
        β•šβ•β•©β•β•©β•β•©β•β•.*.*

      • You are so right.
        Tonight, however, I’m not seeing the good in either life or humans.
        Maybe tomorrow might be better – anything is always possible I suppose.
        Have a peaceful rest D…

  5. Not an easy post. My husband and I will be creamated and want someone to scatter our ashes together. I still have the canisters with two of my dog’s ashes in them, one my favorite dog that I’m having trouble letting go of. We want to have her scattered with us but lately I’m thinking we need to just do it here where she lived and loved. This attachment stuff is pretty messy. It’s sad what you wrote about the graveyard not being taken care of. And, the opposite is such a nice statement, when they are nice and tended to a more gentle remembrance. ‘Nuf of my babbling. This post sure gets one thinking. Paulette

    • The letting go, I understand completely.
      All you have left of them at the end – a bowlful of ashes. Quite sad really.
      Still, I suppose it’s the memories that always live on, one way or the other.

  6. I was at the funeral of a friend’s daughter a couple of years ago. The cemetery (in which she was buried) still has quite a deal of land left for more burials and, because of this, is still in good shape; it is very well looked after. However others, whose capacity has been filled languish in a neglected and forlorn way. Too, too sad for those who visit their loved ones in such run down forgotten places. It really is a great shame; they all seem to end up in this state…!

    • So it would seem that it’s not only here that they forget about those that came before.
      probably why humans keep on making the same mistakes all the time.

      • We are a weird mob…!
        Perhaps we have it all wrong; burials, I mean. Maybe the Indian peoples have it right by having a ‘burning affair’ with only ash left to scatter – dust to dust..!

  7. It’s about respect, I think, Ghia. Not much respect for anything on this continent, not living (nature / people) or dead. The big to-do at African funerals is, in my opinion, just a ritual that has a lot to do with supersitions about the forefathers – and off course an opportunity to show off your wealth. No real deep sense of respect, as far as I can tell. But I might be wrong.

    • it is all about respect – you’re quite correct.
      And also correct about the no respect here where we call home.
      Tonight I really wish I could wake up in a parallel dimension, where i made different choices and am living a different life.
      Then again, this too shall pass…

  8. Ah, J, I am so glad I waited ’til this a.m. to read this entry – I was right, it deserved a clear head. I think I heard my heart snap when you wrote “Every graveyard I’ve been unlucky enough to have to go to in the past few years looked like a dusty field, filled with holes. The graves were not filled up. No maintenance done on the actual property itself, meaning, no manicured lawns and great old shade trees where you can sit and think about your loved ones. Just dusty expanses of thrown away people…” Oh that hurts. My experience is how to be buried or not is a very personal decision, but the care of the graveyards does come back to respect. Respect for those who came before. Here in the States, most of the graveyards are taken care of, although I have a friend whose family was in the mortuary business and the maintenance of filled up cemeteries is a real challenge – it no longer produces income except as a property tax for the city/county it is located in. Thus, it frequently comes back to volunteers or loved ones to see to the grave site. Thanks for this post – it evoked many memories. P

    • I realise to spend time and effort on the dead does not mean much in the bigger scheme of things. Offer people alternatives then. Make it part of a contract that the grave site will be looked after. That is after all why people pay property tax – for the local government to use it for the upkeep of local sites.
      Going to a desolate graveyard is sometimes even more sad than the funeral itself – seeing all those forgotten people, knowing that they must have been loved at one stage, and now they just lie there, out of sight, out of mind.
      I am slightly morose these days P, forgive me. Another morbid post coming up!!

      • Ah, well, I shall cheer you up with a story about my mother’s burial – truly it did have its lighter side and it dealt solely with the cemetery. No irreverence, just a bit of a hit and miss error…

  9. When researching for my novel this week about whether it was possible to escape a shallow grave (not in a coffin) when buried alive, I read some really horrendous stories about people being buried alive.

    That’s decided me. Cremation it is.

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