Thursday, July 11, 2013
"The bottles are dry and his broken heart rests. 1997-2011"
What's the story here? A 14-yr-old boy, maybe with a fatal cardiac problem--literally a broken heart. Or is the broken heart a metaphor. Except why would his heart be broken? Because he was dying? If it's a metaphor, the phrasing is odd. And what do the bottles mean? Perhaps the boy had a congenital illness that never let him progress past infancy in terms of feeding himself?
If you have any insight, I'd be interested. Or if you want to write a story, feel free. I'm not going to.
Next question is: WHY would someone remove the tombstone from a child's grave?
R works in a cemetery and every day tells me another zany/puzzling/sad cemetery story. I group them under headings: Family Feuds, Strange Funereal Rites, Bizarre Farewells, Inappropriate Affect, Cemetery Accidents.
A sub-heading under Family Feuds is Abandonment. There are family members so opposed to a particular family member being buried in the family plot that, although they can't prevent the burial, they remove the tombstone. I'm not making this up. It's true. R has been out for a stroll in the cemetery and found a tombstone shoved under a bush or propped against a tree. Ditto for urns which are sometimes unearthed or simply never buried. (This latter case belongs under the sub-heading: Deceased Wanted Urn In This Cemetery But Family Hasn't Paid To Bury It. Interestingly, this last provision regarding cremation and the cemetery can be written into a will, but there's no followup as to whether the family actually had the urn buried or simply left it in an unspecified spot in the cemetery. I suppose one should be relieved they didn't just dump the body.)
This child's gravestone was brought into the office by a concerned passerby who was visiting the cemetery. It's black granite--approximate value of $500. Strange that there's no name, which makes it hard to return to the grave where it belongs. And even if it were returned, would it be removed again?
R decided to bring it home. It's propped against the back fence where we can see it when we're sitting outside or roll our bikes out the gate.