Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Old " Friends"


Everyday I visit old friends
I say hello after checking the only non grassed grave in the graveyard
The grave Albert has visited in the middle of the night.
Sylvia who ran the Flower Show with such a hypertensive strength lies with her husband a dozen rows from the Red Faced Welsh Farmer who has fresh geraniums by his headstone. Gwyneth from Pen-y-cefn Isa Farm ( the 80 year old who used to stand proudly on the back of Ralph the gentleman farmer's tractor ) is a little to the left, her headstone is all in Welsh.
I say hello to them all.
I also say hello to the ones I feel I know but never  met.
Miss B A Jones ( Bessie Bryn Teg) the schoolmistress who used to rule the village school children with an iron fist  lies with her sister Ginny Bryn Teg ( who used to own the cow!) Old Norman Roberts who did so much for village affairs.  and 16 year old Edwina , Auntie Glad's daughter who died after a  car accident up in Lloc.
Further back there are the Hannah Jones' , Parrys and Williams' ........Teddy, beloved young son of Ann and William, and Elias Jones who was killed in the mining accident in Gronant in 1890...2000 people came to his funeral .....2000!
In a odd way they all feel a little like friends...
Am I strange?

58 comments:

  1. Quite normal in my eyes..but then again, I am a genealogist! My father wasnt but he would take us walking through the cemeteries and know the life story of them all!

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  2. Possibly. I love looking at gravestones. So calming and peaceful. I always hope I'll see a ghost. Life is so busy it's nice to take time out. I assume you live next to one? I found your blog on another blogsite. Cracks me up. I'm a Practice Nurse so your gripes re work ring true. Keep up the humour. NHS workers have a black humour no one else gets.

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    1. I love nurse humour....
      The blacker the better......

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  3. I didn't know Auntie Glad once lost a 16 year old daughter. How sad.

    I don't think you're strange at all, but then, I'm from the South here in the USA. We consider visiting graveyards and remembering our dead very important and a normal part of life.

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    1. She told me the story of that day just once..it broke my heart

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    2. I am glad you know so you can say hello, even if you don't know Edwina you know and look after her Mum.
      I know losing a daughter is very sad indeed. I think of Nicole everyday.

      You are very lovely to care, not strange at all.
      cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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  4. All most people want is for some one else to remember them. I am sure they would all be happy that you can recite the names.

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  5. You have such a good heart, John. I love how you notice and care for people, even those 'no longer with us".

    lizzy

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  6. :`(

    for auntie glad; her daughter never had a chance to experience all life has to offer.

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  7. My husband used to tease me about liking graveyards. I love wandering through ancient cemeteries with gravestones so worn you can barely or cannot even see the inscriptions.
    It is sad to see the graves of children and babies but there are some places where the graves are monuments with massive statuary and windows in beautiful glass designs .. Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires is an example, much like Pere LeChaise in Paris .. yes, I have been to many cemeteries in my travels :)

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    1. PS
      my husband wanted to be cremated, no grave for him.
      I want to be cremated also.
      But I still like the idea of a grand crypt in Paris or Buenos Aires :)

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    2. We will not end up in Trelawnyd....we could move anywhere with The Prof's job... But I want to be buried in that churchyard...facing my old field

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    3. Yes, I can imagine why ..

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  8. All I can think of is Aunty Glad has lived a long long time without her daughter and your descriptions of her are completely positive but she would be justified in a little bitterness.
    What a marvellous example of grace

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    1. I have never heard bitterness
      Sadness for sure........i remember almost weeping when she told me about her daughter.......it was the fact the local policeman was crying when he told her the news

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  9. If you get a chance, find a copy of Peter S. Beagle's "A Fine and Private Place".
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Looking for it on line as i type

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  10. No. Well. Yes. We are all strange but you are strange in a sweet and very human way and I do the same when I visit an old graveyard.

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  11. I enjoy visiting old graveyards, especially in the southern part of the US. There stones tell a story and are so interesting. Today, I have noticed that many headstones contain a picture of the deceased. I would imagine that families find more connection when they visit.

    Your post was so sweet and I am sure it touched everybody who read it.

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  12. Not at all...you are a vital part of a village family present and past.

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  13. Perhaps you are strange - but strange in a way that many of us relate to.
    And I have a fridge magnet which reads 'The only normal people are those you don't know very well'.

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  14. On the rare occasions I go back to Our Hometown, I always pay a call on the cemetery, starting with the family up on the hill and then going for a wander, usually finding a solid handful of familiar names - my grandparents' friends, mostly, the stolid ladies who came for bridge or Garden Club, the yet-more-stolid old men who sat with Grandfather at those endless Rotary luncheons. It's good for the soul, I think, to pay respects and remember.

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  15. My dad died 14 years ago, I always visit his grave before I go to mums house. Have 10 mins just talking to him. Mum as always hates that, she is a jealous, flip he is dead!. Will never forget him, adore him.

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  16. No, John, that doesn't make me think you're strange.

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  17. I think it just means you are a sensitive sort. Geesh...I visit my cat's graves. So sad for Auntie Glad.

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  18. Crikey John ... You're strange alright, mate! If only all the peeps in the world were strange like you ... It'd be a far better place I'm sure. Mum spends a lot of time in graveyards too. She's also strange! I don't mind. I get to go with her. She reckons the people resting there would like seeing me. I sometimes pee on 'em! We are all very sad at our house today. We have to bury Mortimer Moo!

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  19. You are very normal and wonderful. Keep it up.

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  20. The cemetary in the town I grew up in was considered somewhat of a park. In fact it's now been designated an arboretum as well. Many people walk or jog there. My mom used to play with friends there, and sneak in over the fence at night. The old soldiers' graves, among others, bring tears. So if you are strange, you're in good company!

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  21. We have a federally designated historic cemetery and before I retired, I used to go and eat my lunch there and read the stories gleaned from the old headstones. Most occupants are pioneer stock from the Old West. Are we strange or just curious?

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  22. Not at all. I think it shows a kind and thoughtful nature to think of those who are gone with warmth and feeling.

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  23. No, you were visiting your old friends, just as you said. They enjoyed your visit a lot.

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  24. John, this is beautiful. Thank you for caring.

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  25. Our late dog Monty's grave is in Haddock's, and I say hello to him daily.

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  26. If you are strange then there are a lot of us about..peace in a graveyard and talking to the residents seems about right to me...and I did wonder where you hope to be buried one day...do you have a plot already?

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  27. Not strange at all John. Just aware of the cycle of life and death. We often visit cemetaries on our travels, and marvel at how tough life was a hundred years ago - families loosing three children in a single winter, flu epidemics, work fatalities... and all before public assistance for widows... We have it easy!

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  28. I don't think you are strange. You are just being human.

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  29. What a good friend of your village you are John x

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  30. You're not strange, I think its lovely to just give your thoughts to these people.
    I love graveyards but must admit that some people do think me odd.
    Briony
    x

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  31. Being remembered is my idea of "life after death". People want to be remembered. Why else would they have headstones with their names on them?

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  32. No not at all, in fact I think its a comforting thought that those we never knew in this life, either accidental acquaintances or past generations of our own families, we will one day meet on the other side. Its our bodies that die, not our souls.

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  33. But have you ever had a hello back and what would you do if you did?
    I think the whole human race is strange. I love people watching especially at Christmas, running around like headless chickens.

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    1. I had an english teacher called miss betts

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  34. No John, you are not strange. On the (now) rare occasions I go back to the village in Lincolnshire where I spent my childhood, I visit the graves of my parents and then wander round, recalling the folk I knew and loved as a child. Such memories are the things which keep people alive.

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  35. You're not strange John, just special. That's what keeps me coming back to your blog.
    Jean

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  36. John, it is not strange to embrace life/death. You have this ability in abundance.

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  37. Oh no sir you are not strange! Don't even entertain the thought. You are remembering them and thats all we can really ask for isn't it??.... to be remembered now and then....hopefully fondly...lol I grew up around a graveyard... a beautiful one in Pennsylvania that was very old with statues and mausoleums and big rock headstones with lovely stories carved in them....It was so peaceful and quiet there. I would walk around and read the headstones...It was a very calming place in a very chaotic childhood... Hubby doesn't get that.. he thinks its just weird... lol I do remember thinking at some point how sad it was that the majority of the graves i was looking was probably never visited any more... did anyone ever stand at their grave and think about them or leave them flowers? .... You do a good thing John make no mistake .... Hugs! deb

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    1. Peace... Thats what its all about me thinks

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  38. If you are strange, I don't want to be normal.
    I visit the family cemetery plots a couple times a year. I dig around the single headstones and plant flowers or leave planters at the larger ones. I cry every time. I remember going there as a child with my mother and having her teach me how to do it properly. I can see her now, sitting in the car with her legs out the door, leaning on her cane. I cry and cry every time and I'm crying now writing about it. I tell her out loud that I miss everyone but I miss her the most. I don't care if people see me or hear me. I don't care what they think. I take pictures every year and send them to relatives far away so they know what it looks like and that it's cared for. They offer to pay for the flowers but every year I refuse. I couldn't take money for that. It just doesn't seem right, does it? This year, while I cleaned the family plots, my husbear found a US veteran's grave nearby which has been unattended for a long time. I remember my mother telling me that my uncle knew the man, who died around the same time as my uncle. So, while I cleaned my uncle's headstone and affixed a US flag, my husbear cleaned the other fellow's marker and we affixed a flag to it. Then, we went to another cemetery where my great aunt is buried. She was also a US veteran, a colonel when women were not colonels in the US military. Her brother, who died 30 years before her and was a veteran of WW I lays next to her. His marker was tipping. We dug around it and righted it. We left a planter on her grave and planted flowers at his. We'll have to go back soon with better tools to permanently fix his marker. He deserves that.
    At a cemetery near where we lived, we learned that there were two graves of men who served in the confederacy during the US Civil War. We bought them confederate markers and flags for their graves. Not the confederate flag that causes all the visceral reactions, but a different design. Our efforts had nothing to do with politics, more that they fought for what they believed in and lived on in the north in a stronger union after the war. We just wanted to honor their sacrifice and service.
    If you're strange then I'm a lunatic.

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    1. Im feeling better...im not the only loon on the lake

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  39. When we were younger my two friends and I would put on white nighties and go to the cemetary on a full-moon night; play a game of Tag then sit upon the headstones and have a good chat and drink beer. I don't know if anyone ever saw us but I'm sure if they did they kept it to themselves.

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  40. When we were younger my two friends and I would put on white nighties and go to the cemetary on a full-moon night; play a game of Tag then sit upon the headstones and have a good chat and drink beer. I don't know if anyone ever saw us but I'm sure if they did they kept it to themselves.

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  41. No you're not strange ... it's nice to feel connected to where you live ..... even if half of your friends are no longer actually there ;-)

    But then thinking about it ... you like graveyards, you like zombies .... maybe the answer should be YES!!

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  42. This is how I go to family reunoins, almost everybody for generations in the same graveyard, except the exentric great aunt who emigrated to NY. She got out.

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  43. I don't think you're strange, I find your attachment to the people of your village, even the ones you never met, quite charming.

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  44. Definitely not strange. I find it touching.

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  45. Not strange . . .
    I visit the cemetery where my husband is buried . . . often.
    So much history can be learned . . .
    I like the quiet . . .

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