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  1. #11
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Have you ever taken the opportunity to walk through a graveyard and consider the names and dates on the stones? I have. I will look at the grave marker of a man who died before the Great War and wonder, what was he like? What was his favorite food? Was he brisk, attentive, melancholy? What was his story? And I mourn not for the man, but for the richly detailed story of the man's life... a story that died away in pieces, as the last people who had ever known him also passed away.

    Every marker in the graveyard represents thousands of days both good and bad, each with its own experiences and feelings and acts and impulses and thoughts, and the book of them is closed and sealed forever, never to be opened again. These were people, with hopes and dreams and vices and secrets, now all gone.

    That's the sense I get when I wander through a graveyard. Does anyone else sense that?
    I'm exactly that way, through and through.

    I had an obsession with the dead man across the street, laying under a giant headstone behind a collapsing wrought iron fence. He was dead 120 years before I was born. Died in his early 30s. As a child, I was obsessed with the very idea of him. I learned everything I could about him. He was a doctor. I imagined him being a dashing tall man with brown hair and blue eyes, and that his wife loved him so much she could hardly say no to him about anything. I imagined that he'd been nobly and competently tending to some very sick child and contracted her disease - possibly TB or typhoid - and died from it.

    Buried out in the countryside of 1850s North Carolina, no longer countryside, next to a Civil War era pecan grove owned by his wife's family. Giant trees I ran and played under, pecans I collected to eat every season.

    Did she cry to lose him? Was she a practical woman that kept the viciousness of reality before her while grieving his loss, or was she an idealist who held his hand tightly and furiously until the very last minute and couldn't move from his side without help? Did she never remarry? Did she cry every time she thought of him? Did almost die herself of grief?

    It seems that a man named Ransom should be an immortal. I don't know why.
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  2. #12
    Oberon
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    In the cemetery of my father's church, there is a short row of plots near the back that contain a family. That in itself is not unusual, but three of the stones are for three daughters. The girls were between the ages of 3 and 12, and all died within two weeks of each other. This was in 1912.

    I used to wonder what their story was. Now I'm happier not to know, I think.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    In the cemetery of my father's church, there is a short row of plots near the back that contain a family. That in itself is not unusual, but three of the stones are for three daughters. The girls were between the ages of 3 and 12, and all died within two weeks of each other. This was in 1912.

    I used to wonder what their story was. Now I'm happier not to know, I think.
    Considering the time period and their ages and the closeness of their deaths, I would say tuberculosis, flu, or some other illness ravaged the family all at once.

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    Response to OP: yes, very much so.

  5. #15
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Have you ever taken the opportunity to walk through a graveyard and consider the names and dates on the stones? I have. I will look at the grave marker of a man who died before the Great War and wonder, what was he like? What was his favorite food? Was he brisk, attentive, melancholy? What was his story? And I mourn not for the man, but for the richly detailed story of the man's life... a story that died away in pieces, as the last people who had ever known him also passed away.

    Every marker in the graveyard represents thousands of days both good and bad, each with its own experiences and feelings and acts and impulses and thoughts, and the book of them is closed and sealed forever, never to be opened again. These were people, with hopes and dreams and vices and secrets, now all gone.

    That's the sense I get when I wander through a graveyard. Does anyone else sense that?
    When I was younger I used to walk by a big graveyard on my way to work downtown. I usually went in and looked at the different names and the different tombstones. I often wondered about the people there and their families, I wondered if their decedents were still around. Sometimes I'd see fresh flowers on a grave and made me both smile and want to cry at the same time. I used to wish (and still do) I could be privileged enough to read some average Joe or Jane's diary. I wanted to know their thoughts, their hopes, I wanted to know them. So yes, I do get that sense as well.
    "It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Thought breeds thought." ~ Henry David Thoreau

  6. #16
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    I feel the same way about people who died a long time ago. I always want to know their stories.

    I've never lived near an interesting graveyard though. I collect old photographs of people and wonder the same sorts of things about them.
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  7. #17
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    Yes, I often wonder about these things in graveyards.
    I like browsing tombstones from time to time, though it makes me slightly depressed after a while.

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