“No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.” ~ Julius Caesar
This morning as I was entering the gates of the tiny village cemetery, on a lane where the houses are few, a man crept up behind me. I say crept, but it’s more likely I simply didn’t hear him. I’m not sure which of us was the most startled, me because a strange man had approached me unseen, or him because of the piercing cry I made when I almost jumped out of my skin.
He asked for directions to a house that was further along the lane, near to the edge of the village. He referred to the house by its original name and because its name had changed many years ago, it came as a surprise to hear a blast from the past as they say.
As I walked down the path toward my husband’s grave, I remembered how nervous I used to feel when coming here alone, today, four years on I’d begun to feel quite brave, at least I thought I was until the encounter with the strange man. Now I kept looking over my shoulder.
I arranged the flowers on hubby’s grave, had our customary one-sided chat and as it was a pleasant morning I sat down on a nearby bench to survey the graveyard before me, all the while keeping one eye on the cemetery gates.
I began to think about the house the stranger was looking for, but more importantly its previous occupants, old Mr and Mrs Pullein. Forty years ago we bought our house and small holding from Mr and Mrs Pullein, and just like us, they too had brought up a large family of children in the house, as had the family before them.
By now my house was occupying my thoughts, and not for the first time I imagined what the house would say if only the walls could speak. The memories my house must hold, all those babies, small children, teenagers and young adults, births, deaths, marriages, happy times, sad times, bad times.
Standing up I looked around the graveyard and thought about all the people lying here, the lives they enjoyed or perhaps didn’t enjoy. I took a walk around and looked at graves both old and new, almost all the engravings mentioned the word memory
In Memory of,… Loving Memories of… Precious Memories of… I couldn’t help contemplating the words precious memories, as somehow I find it hard to believe that all were precious, surely some of them were bad, because that’s life isn’t it, it’s never perfect. We take the good alongside the bad and I have to conclude that for most of us when a loved one dies we forget about the bad and tend to focus on the good, and maybe for some people it’s fortunate that we do.
This lovely old monument dating from 1809 says ‘In Affectionate Remembrance’ I like that sentiment because it conjures up the idea of everyone’s memories, those of friends as well as family.
Food for thought these graveyards!
© Sue W nansfarm.net 2017 Written in response to the Daily word-prompt ‘Brave’