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MargieH

Graveyards and cemeteries

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I've quoted this before in a post somewhere. It's part of the lyrics for a song titled 'Buy for me the rain'. The third and fourth lines especially make a very valid point.

 

I cannot buy you happiness, I cannot buy you years;
I cannot buy you happiness in place of all the tears.
But I can buy for you a gravestone to lay behind your head.
Gravestones cheer the living, dear, they're no use to the dead.

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I'm with Jill regarding cemeteries. I love them and find it hard to pass one by. I find them so peaceful and love to read the headstones. I have escorted many a group of friends (Americans) all of the British Isles and they know they will tour a cemetery at some point because their leader is going to drag them in. The older the better.  They actually enjoy them too. We called our tours A.B.C. Another Bloody Castle, Another Bloody Church and Another Bloody Cemetery!

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I think we’re kindred spirits, Jill! I find cemeteries very relaxing too, and they provide a reminder that life, indeed anything, is very transient. I also meditate, usually for 20 minutes! Can’t remember whether this is a throwback to my TM days or my later “studies”. Sorry, that sounds a bit grandiose!

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With Chulla, it would be ABPW followed by ABTTW. Another bloody prayer wheel, followed by another bloody Tibetan Tonic Water!  Oh, I do miss pulling his leg!

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In a way I think it’s a pity that it’s mainly Tibetan Buddhism that is the “stream” that’s best known in the West. Due, of course, to the dispersion of Tibetan monks after the Chinese invasion. I find the Theravadan Buddhism of South East Asia more to my personal taste, but “all roads lead to Rome” don’t they. I guess the Thai monks are quite happy where they are!

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I do like Tibetan Tonic Water though! And he WAS a dead ringer for the Dali Lama, wasn’t he!

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Especially when togged up in his saffron robes!  Makes me wonder whether,  when the previous Dalai Lama passed on, they should have looked a bit further afield for his successor. Perhaps they picked the wrong one! ;)

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He's probably watching you Jill, with a twinkle in his eye. He is missed by many.

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I don't doubt it, Carni. I'm expecting it to start raining frogs in my garden any minute!

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As a youngster, during the early war years, my mum liked to go to dances at the church hall of St Peter's, Old Radford.  Coming home in the blackout, she had to pass the churchyard on Churchfield Lane and ran all the way because she was terrified! Personally, I'd have been more frightened of German bombers than anything behind the churchyard wall.

 

As a child, we sometimes passed that churchyard and it was quite large, overgrown, ivy-clad and neglected. I always wanted to go in and have a look round but mum wasn't going to grant my request and hurried past, even in broad daylight!

 

Years later, the place was cleared, the stones removed, seats installed and the burial ground grassed over. I went in for a wander round last March before my Berridge visit.  Very few memorials remain. I wish they'd left it as it was.

 

A friend who lives in a village not far from me faces a Methodist chapel behind which, tucked away, is a lovely little cemetery. I love to go and sit in there on a warm evening at dusk. Have my 20 minutes meditation and, often, when I open my eyes there are fox cubs playing about in the silence. I've also seen young badgers, Moggies, grass snakes and an assortment of birds down there. It's truly a magical place and filled with life.

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Yes. Recently, going through a bit of emotional strife, I couldn’t sleep so got up and walked down to Gedling All Hallows church. Sat in the church grounds amongst  the gravestones at about 1:30 am. Nothing but peace.

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Not likely to see anyone floating about in there at that time, AG.  They're all in Chullaspoon's, partaking of Tibetan Tonic Water and looking round for scanties!  

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I too love wandering round a cemetery, The Rock Cemetery being my favourite....Kev and I spent our 1st Wedding Anniversary wandering round there.....there is so much to see and read. Then you start to wonder what that person did in their life, what did they look like ?....Maybe that's just me, i have been called a little weird on occasion.....

 

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On my wanderings in cemeteries, I always look for those who lived and died furthest back in time.

 

Then I start thinking what they never saw; such as someone who never saw a car; or someone who never knew about electricity; or someone who'd gone before Victoria was on the throne; or they lived when Australia was unexplored; or when the Wild West was still wild etc etc...

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Also fun to choose someone at random and look them up on the census, find out where they lived, who with, where they were born, what their occupation was, etc.  They are all real people with stories to tell.

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Following on from your post CT., when we lived over at Ticehurst, where my son is buried, there used to be a bloke there who used to do brass rubbing on the oldest graves. It was fascinating  to read the legible ones. But he accidentally pushed over a gravestone that had a 17th century date on it. Brass rubbing was banned after that.

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I have to confess to getting much pleasure out of walking around old graveyards and reading the inscriptions on the stones. I look after the headstone of a family that used to be Station Master here at Watten Station, where I live. The graveyard has been levelled and many old stones placed around the perimeter walls, where the Station stone is now located. One day I was planting bulbs at the stone when I accidentally dug up small long-bones from about an inch below the surface! When they levelled the yard they must have bulldozed some bodies around whilst they were at it. I reburied the remains and didn't plant bulbs in that particular spot.

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