I was first there a week ago, wifelet in to see her uncle S in hospital, so a chance for Smud n me to explore. Interestingly found a gravestone with my name carved on the side, the makers mark. We had an idea stonemasons were somewhere in the past with this surname, all part of a group circa 1860. While I was there filming digital cine a flydumper turned up and etc. Oh dear.
Particularly touching was the area I assume for stillborn babies, none had ages on though many stated 'stillborn'. I was in tears last week when I saw this, this week i thought how loving and lovely were the little graves marked with white gravel, fenced off with mini fencing and with toys around as needed. What was sadder were those tiny plots that had nothing, neglected. Perhaps parents had moved away and were not able to keep things smart. Perhaps time moves on and desire to maintain no longer occurs. They then only reside in someones memory.
And of course, all the poor people have no stone to mark them at all. Not that it really matters, its the life you lead while you are alive that is important, values, intergrity. I try to imagine all their hard work and pain and hopefully a quick and easy release from their suffering at the end. I am very aware of how in times gone by life could be so hellish for poor people working or otherwise.
My own auntie A is ninety two now, two years older than my dad if he was still alive. I have no idea if he has a stone or not, cremated and that was it. Yet I often feel he is with me, I use his tools and lathe daily since a kid and basically built a thirty years span of self employment from them. Being brought up to work and make an effort was his best gift. I have always had this feeling, that the dead are all around us. I had it strongly when first g#rd#n#ng four years ago, my maternal grandfather standing next to me, a very strong feeling, not a man I thought of very often. Possibly he was encouraging me in breaking out of the circular rut I was in. I now wonder if he is aware of the pain i have, yet diet and a four hour g' day help ease this.
Not having kids sometimes bugs me, yet its not all plain sailing and we do not live in the pastel coloured Ladybird world of order and balance. My income has always been precarious to say the least so kids without any support network may have been too much for me. We certainly wouldn't have been able to live in this house with its good sized garden. We had good times with our niece so we didn't really miss out at all.
Tags: the working classes