Eleven years ago, on September 27, my beloved grandmother passed away. Her funeral was held shortly after my birthday of Oct 1st - so the beginning of the month is always a bittersweet time for me. I thought it appropriate that not only would I kick off my October/Halloween blog sessions with a tribute to her (and death itself) but it also coincides with Sophistique Noir's Black and White Monthly Theme assignment.
This September 27, I decided to visit her grave and in doing so, found myself connecting with not only the cemetery itself but some of it's other inhabitants. And we all know that really poignant gravestone photos are hands down the black and white variety. So let's get started:
There seems to be a strange synchronicity in my family concerning life and death. My grandmother died on my mom's wedding anniversary (she's been divorced for nearly my entire lifetime, but I digress) and my brother was born on the day my would-have-been uncle died. It will be interesting to see if any other strange occurrences will come to light one day.
I think I would have liked my Uncle Steve. From the stories that Mom told us and the photos I've seen, it's such a shame that he left this world so young. The kid didn't even make it to 21, and yet he was killed by a drunk driver. There's another one.
The boy and I had a bit of debate over whether this was an ironic last name or a simple statement of the obvious.
We found a lot of headstones for those who had participated in WWII and even a few that were Civil War Vets. The history that you come across in some of these out-of-the-way cemeteries is fascinating and tragic in the way that so much of it's been forgotten.
There were a lot of families buried near to each other. These two were siblings and probably both died as a direct relation to either the Great Depression or the war. Lubbertus (cool name, right?) made it to 30 and his sister Alice died in 44 at not much older. Life in rural MN was tough in those times though....
Some headstones were either so old that you could barely read the epitaphs anymore or simply had no associated grave. These two were stacked next to each near a rather spacious family plot - where the wealthier family had been placed atop the graves of these two and rather than just remove their headstones altogether (which does sometimes happen) opted to leave them nearby.
Gerrit J. Shut died at age 22 in 1944. We speculated that he might have served overseas during the war or even fought in it. It's hard to say, but the dates are right....anyways even though he's a Shut (and there are lots of these German folks in the cemetery) he's buried at a distance from the rest of them so either he's an unrelated Shut or perhaps crammed in at the last second.
The arrangement of burials is a fascinating one to me.
Do you enjoy visiting graveyard and cemeteries? Are you like me, interested in the lives of those lost to time or do you just like the "spooky" factor? It's almost Halloween, you can be honest. ;)