Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A short story for Mental Health Day

Black Marble
There’s a lot to be said for being a Catholic. You only have to look at their gravestones. Every one a mausoleum, with angels and harps and pedestals. And why shouldn’t you have grandeur in death? Especially if you were deprived of it in life. Glory and beauty.

I think they’re wonderful. Works of art. They’re my favourite pieces in the cemetery. I come here most days. Tom thinks I’m mad. He says I talk to the angels but I don’t. I just sit and think. He doesn’t understand. This is my place. I always sit in this exact spot with my back against this headstone. ‘Treasured memories of Richard Daniel Evans, dearly loved husband of Mary. And of the above Mary Jane Evans. Sleeping where no shadows fall.’

Sleeping where no shadows fall, I like that. No shadows, no darkness, just sleep. I like to sleep. Sometimes I fall asleep with my head on the grass. Or sometimes I think about Richard and Mary and wonder what their lives were like, wonder if they would like me, wonder if they mind me sitting with my back to them. I don’t think they would mind me resting on their stone. The stone seems to welcome me in.

Story continued here.


jmb said...

Very good story Liz. I loved it. I'm Catholic but I want to be cremated. But I love cemeteries. No that hardly any one gets buried now and there will be not many cemeteries from our day for others to enjoy, both for the peace as you say and the history and stories to explore in the headstones.

Liz said...

Thank you, jmb. It's based on our local cemetery, which is very beautiful. I must take some photos!

Anonymous said...

We visited the American and British War?Peace Cemeteries in Normandy a couple of years ago. Those rows and rows of white crosses with their brief or limited citations moved me beyond tears. It was almost impossible to know what to think except that, had no one built those places, the history would have been less noticeable somehow.

I had long believed that visiting a grave does not help the bereaved to move past grieving and that the cemetery remains a responsibility to someone forever. Then I began visiting the garden of remembrance in Hull where Pete's parents are at rest. Just as much a cemetery in reality. But rose trees instead of crosses allowed me to reflect beyond the sadness.

That, however, was not the point of your excellent story. Thanks Liz.

PS Second blog for larger pieces, good idea!

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