This is the local church and graveyard. The current church structure dates back to the 12th century but it’s likely that an early Saxon structure stood here before that. Inside there are parts of the church still in remarkably good condition from the 12th and 13th century.

The weather worn graveyard has a definite ancient feel to it. So many long forgotten graves. These places have a habit of making you think about your own life.

We still have my partners ashes in the house. We just haven’t found the right time to start the process. We did spilt them. Some for England and some for Switzerland. We’ve thought about many sites. We sort of have a draft plan in place. It struck me today that we have never once considered this graveyard. Really don’t know why.

The other thing that struck me was that I hadn’t been to my mums grave in nearly two years. It’s mums old family grave about 60 miles from here. What makes it worse is that I scattered the ashes by myself. I’m the only one who has been there since then. Really must address that this year. Sadly I think I said the exact same thing last year. Life always seems to get in the way. So many demands. But those demands take over. My Dad was cremated in 1987. His ashes were scattered. I can’t even remember exactly where. I’ve never went to that place. Never been in 32 years. So now I need to ask my brother and sisters. Just hope one of them can remember.

So many things to do. Even so, surely I should be able to find the time to pay one visit. To remember those who shaped and moulded our live’s. I came across a quote from David Eagleman which sets this whole thing in context;

“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”

For those of us who are not the likes of Shakespeare then this process is inevitable and extremely sobering. But that’s life. We need to make the best of it. So for the last three years I have spent a little time each and every day remembering. Last night it was 15 minutes. Remembering names which I’m not yet ready to send into the third stage. So each night names are called out and good memories recalled. I guess it’s my version of a graveyard visit.

88 thoughts on “Graveyard visit

  1. I think your way is better than a graveyard visit. Keeping the memories alive is what matters. I’m having my body donated, nothing for my girls to worry or stress over when the inevitable happens.

    That old church is really cool! I’d love to visit places that are so old. We have nothing like that in the States☹

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Demands definitely do take over. Time slips away easy too. It’s a good reminder to make the most of our days. Actually there’s a Bible Scripture for that.

    “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” –Psalm 90:12

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree. As some one said to me that our perception is our reality. And in most things in life, we see things as we thing they are and as they sometimes actually are.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So, this ashes business can be tough. I was completely against cremation for my husband. My son is actually the one who helped me understand and accept that we should do it because that is what Paul wanted. He said, “And then, Mom, we will put half of Daddy in your coffin and the other half of Daddy in my coffin and the three of us will be together forever.” How can you argue with that? Right? Well, Paul’s ashes are still in the house, but over the last, almost two years now we have spread some here and there at places that are meaningful to us. The first location was Sunset Rock, a beautiful rock outcropping in a neighboring state that we visited as a family. We have also spread ashes in Lowcountry rivers, on beaches, and in the harbor; the waters that Paul loved and called home. Paul traveled to Spain with me and was almost confiscated by TSA in Newark, NJ! I left some of his ashes at a 12th century church in the Spanish countryside. I have also spread ashes at a local plantation where Paul and I first met. I did that on our first wedding anniversary without him. Paul grew up in Japan. There is a Buddhist temple in O’ahu. I left Paul there, too. The Byodo-In Temple is located at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It was established on June 7, 1968 (Paul was 9 years old then), to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The Byodo-In Temple in O’ahu is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-in Temple, a United Nations World Heritage Site in Uji, Japan. Paul visited that temple many times as a child. It only seemed right that he return there. All of these full-circle moments have been good and helpful but having Paul’s ashes close to me still feels…..necessary.

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    1. I really like the new places you found for Paul. It really sounds like he would approve of them. How do you feel about leaving in a place you might never go back to. Or are you planning to someday revisit them. A year before she left us we had a random chat about ashes. She list 4 places. A Quaker graveyard in Cumbria, on the North Yorkshire Moors with a view of a childhood home, a large rocky outcrop overlooking beautiful lake Thun and under a pile of rocks next to a bench on top of a Swiss Mountain (where her Dad was scattered) – the problem is that The risk of getting the wrong bench is massive as I’ve never been there. So understand the having the ashes close to you. xx

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      1. Weirdly(?) I am ok with leaving Paul knowing I may not be back. He gets to become part of those places that we loved forever. There is something powerful in that. All of the places your partner listed sound like amazing, peaceful places to rest. Clearly, she felt connected to those places 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess I will only find out how it feels like until I’ve done it. The Swiss ones are going to be difficult. With our sons Aspergers he is not great travelling these days. Not sure when we will get round to them. I have to correct paperwork for the Tunnel to France so hopefully they won’t get confiscated. 🙏

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  4. Agreeing with your other commenters. The memories, sharing stories, living your life carrying on the best of you mom, dad, and partner allow them to continue as a presence in your and your son’s life.
    My hope is for my kids to take my best and grow it into something more, whatever helps them love and be loved.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is nice to hear so many people grew up in families they do not want to forget. I have no reason to ever want to remember my father, let alone visit his gravesite. My mother was a good woman, but she enabled him. What do I do with that? Forgive them? Never!
    Those of you who were not brought up by monsters, thank your lucky stars. As it turns out, I’m glad I never had children.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not to worry, Gary, I was just having a pity-party for one. I probably should never have published that comment, it was not intended to hurt anyone. What I was really trying to do was remind others that there are plenty of people in this world who don’t have such loving backgrounds. But we still do our best, whatever that is.

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  6. Y sister has my mum’s ashes on the mantlepiece. My mum died not long before Christmas. My mum wanted them scattered, with no ine there. She had no funeral. Insisted on not having one. But my sister could not let the ashes go so she had them in the end. She tells my mum off every day lol. I love graveyards too. I visit one often, though I CAN ONLY SIT OURSIDE IT IN THE CAR NOW. I WRITE A LOT AS THEY SEEM TO INSPIRE ME.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Two things. Whatever you do, helps to know you are not alone and I do believe and I have said before, to quote Shakespeare, there are more things in certain places (okay, I find that concept difficult too ) and earth -which is easy to me-and as for pets? Well I am not a big animal person but those that have crossed my path, yes even the foxes and the squirrels in our garden and let’s not start of the hamster I had to let in the house in order to get back my younger girl from where she was in her life then.. well, they taught and teach lots. So why not? The candles??? Well given the time I set the dining room roof up in flames and the time it was the older girl’s hair at a b/day party , oh and then again one Christmas, I would stay away from candles. In all fairness each time I put the fires out so really it is quite unfair that every time I do this……I have to pray the Mr does not find out cos he reckons I am a firebug. BUT I think it is a nice way to do it. It was your bit about the names that struck the chord . I was also thinking of this great aunt of mine, one I never had much to do with, in that she was the youngest of this big Edwardian-well into the 20th century family and a shade older than my mum and I far got much better along with her hard boozing, off the wall, wild big sisters and my own not of the time nan, Anyway, I gather till the day she died, she would…having discovered that living it up was ok… indeed in some of the hardest pubs in Dundee too.. go home and set out a slip of paper each night that had each of their names on it and take them back in, in the morning. So a candle? Why not?

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  7. We were just talking about this (for some reason?) the other day – about how when there is no one left on earth that knew us, our memory or life is forgotten forever. Remembering and talking about our loved ones is what keeps them alive. I don’t visit family grave sites either. To me they aren’t there – they are all around us. That is a pretty cool church/cemetery. Looks so old – can you even see any names on the grave stones anymore?

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  8. I hope you can find where your dad’s ashes were scattered. The matter of not having visited a grave for a while isn’t something that can or should be judged. You think of those you’ve lost, you pay them a graveyard visit mentally because the physical place is like putting up a Christmas tree; it’s more symbolic than anything else.
    I also hope that when the time feels right you can scatter your partner’s ashes, if you wish to.
    Graveyards can be quite peaceful, but as you say they can also make you reflect on the nature of our existence and of limited time on this planet.
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh yes, I believe that remembering and talking about deceased loved ones is more important than visiting a grave or specific site. But I do understand the importance of those things for some people, but it is not something everyone can do. Some people have loved ones buried far away or what about those whose loved ones’ graves are not even known to them. I imagine that those you have not visited would understand that you are doing other things and that they are not forgotten. Just my two cents.

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  10. When a loved one’s name can bring past moments of love and smiles, then that is good. 🙂 Visited my dad’s grave at Christmas last year, and that was…hard. Good, but hard. And it took a year to bury my father-in-law’s ashes. You just need to do it when you’re both ready, and that’s okay.

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