Monday, July 20, 2009

The Dead and The Gone

During the cemetery stomp earlier this month with my cousins we stopped by an old Catholic churchyard out in the country. I had been there a few times before so I knew what I was looking for. My great great grandparents who came to this country from somewhere near the border of Poland and Germany are buried in this place. I am Catholic because of these people, because the whole rest of my "people" were Protestants.

Whenever I am at this cemetery, I like to stop by this grave. Mary, my great grandmother's younger sister, died when she was in her early twenties. I think she had cholera or one of the diseases caused by unsantitary conditions and lack of modern medicine like antibiotics. I think I heard a story that she was engaged when she died and the family considered her death a great sadness. I never saw a picture of this Mary who died so young, just at the start of her adult life. The century hadn't turned to the 1900s by the time of her death.
Some people consider cemeteries morbid and sad. I find that I like to visit cemeteries. These places are a connection to the past. I like to remember the people who lived and died. When my dad was dying he kept saying that it would be like camping, being out there at the cemetery. At the time, it seemed like an odd image and not one I was ready to hear. But today when I visit these resting dead, I can see that, "yes, Dad," it is a little like camping.

4 comments:

Dawn Farias said...

I don't think cemeteries are morbid. I really should find the directions to where my mom is buried in Houston, a few hours away from here. My parents were already divorced when she died and Daddy was remarried and we lived far away... no one to really take my brother and I to visit. I need to ask my uncle or someone for details.

Mary said...

Ask your uncle before it is too late. There is a sense of closure and acceptance in a cemetery. How old were you when your mom died?elysili

Mary said...

The elysili was my veri word and for some reason it showed up in the comment. Oh, the mysteries of life.

Amanda said...

I love to visit old graveyards. I love to read and *feel* the history of times gone by...