Thursday, 10 July 2014
This cool July morning, after breakfast, I fastened my baby into her carriage and went for a walk. Destination: the cemetery. I find the cemetery both quenches my curious nature and helps me get some quiet time. I didn't always like cemeteries. I remember feeling so very uncomfortable. A fear that the ghosts, or zombies or whatever, the dead would rise and.....well I didn't really think of what they would do, for all I know they might have invited me to a tea party....haha.... I think now what I might have been feeling is the weight of the sadness, not understanding exactly what death and the cemetery was for. I used to walk in the middle of the rows of the tombs to go visit Grandpa with my mom and I would have to walk where I estimated the coffin would end. The first time I was comfortable in the cemetery was one summer a long while ago, my best friend and I walked over 5 km visiting my old neighbourhood. We walked through the cemetery and I had her visit my grandfather's tomb. We sat on the ground in front of it and shared a sandwich. It felt like he was there while I spoke of him and of the memories I had with him. Since then I love cemeteries. Today, I walk through the cemetery looking for the oldest date I can find. Today was 1900. A family of four, last name Martin, all died within months of each other. So sad, the two children died first, then the father and finally the mother, but so curious. In large cemeteries like Mount Royal, you can see 10 to 20 tombs with the same dates and you can get a picture of the time and what happened. Well when I got home I called the church to inquire if they had information. Unfortunately they do not keep records on the reason of death.....bummer, so I jumped on the internet and figured that around that time there was a smallpox epidemic in Montreal..... I think that was it. Curiosity, satisfied, I strolled some more and found a second part to the cemetery, that I didn't know existed, and sat down under the trees next to the little river, stream...small water way and lay the baby on a blanket and watched her watch the leaves in the trees. So nice. Then I had a thought. I thought that maybe I went to the cemetery to find my dad. My mom has his urn in their office...her office, and though mom likes to force moments (why don't you touch the urn) it just isn't dad. I feel like I've been neglected a mourning place. A place where I could lean against the tomb stone and just talk. Even though I know he would not be there, it would be somewhere to go to, to leave flowers or tears. I didn't feel closer to him there....I felt like I was honouring those who didn't get any visitors, and myself. I gave myself time to relax, to try to empty my mind (I'm going to need practice) and to enjoy my baby away from the house.