Sunday, March 8, 2015

Where the dead people are

At least for awhile
I find cemeteries interesting. Not in a morbid way but in a historical way. On this plot of ground is where our ancestry lies.
We research our heritage and trace our forefathers to where they lay under the earth. Put there by well meaning families following the pomp and ceremony of the time. A headstone describes in a few words who this person was during there life as best remembered.
Then everyone walks away and the grass grows tall and the weather takes it’s toil and a few anniversaries or family gatherings bring relatives to look at the headstone and ponder who the rotting skeleton underground was.
I was looking at my cities neighborhoods recently and noticed the cemeteries. Gigantic swaps of land taken up for the burial of the dead. Protected acreage full of dead bodies and stones protruding announcing whom this body was.
Not being an overly religious person or a worshiper of zombies, I find these large plots of land fascinating. There will be additions but no withdrawals. Some will become famous hollowed ground and many will be forgotten and overgrown.
My grandfather or his grandfathers are buried in some plot with no indication of who he was or what he did or why he existed. My father is placed in a family plot next to his mother and father and may never be seen again. I have no idea what happened to his brother?
I just wonder, as a land assessor or a city planner trying to develop what land is available, what do you do with these dead bodies. Some of these old cemeteries are discovered when construction starts on land forgotten. Others are dug up for archeological findings.
Let’s face it, we will end up nothing but bones no matter how romantic our visions of life eternal are. Even when they unwrapped the mummies, they were petrified bones. No matter how secrete we wish our remains to be preserved; if we get in the way of progress, our resting places will be bulldozed.
Other animals on this planet do not dig graves for the fallen. They fall where they are and the inevitable takes over.
Now I’m not totally avoid of emotion. I have buried many a critter in my plot of earth with great ceremony and comforted those who mourn the passing but I am fully aware that they are worm food now. Archeologist or construction workers can find the bones and prognosticate who this was and why they were buried here.
I appreciate the land devoted to the dead and in passing always salute and announce condolences to the unknown people buried underground. I will never know their names or their history but I respect their heritage of some one taking the effort to dig a hole to put the carcass in.
I’m only here to keep future historians guessing.

1 comment:

TripleG said...

Not very many use the marker to be anything other than serious. In New Orleans, one hypochondriac put on hers: "I told you I was sick!"

Wonder if Johnny Carson's says: "I'll be right back!"