A Strange Entertainment

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Graveyards are funny places. They sort of give you a dose of reality - that in spite of what you would like to believe, your life on Earth is a finite one. But aside from these thoughts, they are fascinating places to wander through. The entertainment value alone is enough to make me want to visit every graveyard I pass.
But I usually don't.
On Sunday, when we were at the little, old country churchyard, we spent quite a bit of time reading the epitaphs on the tombstones. Incredibly, most of them have been well looked after - only a few lay crumbled or broken.  Some had old wrought-iron gates around them. Why, I wonder? I've always wondered what the purpose was in doing that.

We thought it interesting how God-fearing the messages on the headstones are - such a different generation to the one we are living in. But some of them made us laugh out loud! Actually, we roared with laughter over this one. Who wanted it put there, I wonder? The deceased, or the ones left behind? Could be an interesting story in that! Perhaps a tale of a life well-spent, or a life ill-spent.

I rather liked this one.

This one breaks my heart though.

There were so many of these - young children, young adults. What a perilous time it must have been - before good hygiene and antibiotics were common. What heartbreak for the families. It makes you feel that it's a miracle anyone survived!

Some of the other verses were:

"Blessed are the pure in heart"
"So Loved, So Mourned"
"Safe in the arms of Jesus" (for a child)
"With Christ which is far better" (for two young siblings who died within 8 years of each other).
"Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth"
"The day thou gavest Lord, is ended"
"Christ has gathered to His own,
to the place where He has gone,
where their hearts and treasures lie,
where their lives are hid on high." (Rather nice I thought).

"Had He asked us well we know we should cry,
O spare this blow, yes with streaming tears,
Should pray, Lord we love her, let her stay." (Quite sad).

Now that I've thoroughly depressed you, I will leave you with two more. One I thought was rather sweet, and one that gives hope.
First - what a blessed woman this lady was - look at how she has been loved - but so young to die, too.

And this final epitaph on a headstone:

"In sure and certain hope of a resurrection to eternal life."

Yes, I like graveyards. I like how they make me think. I like how they make me appreciate and value life. I like how they link me to the past. I like imagining who the people were, and what they were like and what sort of lives they lived. But they are sad places too, and now I promise that I will not write any more blog posts on graveyards. Except that there is the whole burial/cremation argument that my husband and I periodically have. He is from a family who cremates. I am from a family who bury. I prefer burial. I'm even sure it's biblical (that's what I tell him, anyway)! I will mortgage my house several times over to prevent any of my immediate family being cremated. I will contest the will, if I have to. Haha! But I promised, didn't I.
No more posts on that subject.

At least, not for awhile.
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