In my previous post (Oct 31), I showed some photos from a large woodland cemetery on the outskirts of town. The photos in today's post are from an older and smaller cemetery, closer to where I live. Not quite "next door" as there is a railway and a road to cross in between... But with a footbridge over the railway (which runs in a narrow valley down below), only a few minutes away. In fact, I usually walk either along, across or around this cemetery several times a week. Either on my way to/from other places, or just for a walk. Having lived where I live for 11+ years now, I estimate that I have probably walked across or along that cemetery like 4000 times - whereas during the 50+ previous years of my life, maybe I visited a graveyard once or twice a year (at most!). In some ways, it probably helped to take the "edge" off some of my own losses (and fears) over the same time period... Because while each walk in a cemetery is a reminder of death, at the same time it is also a reminder of Life...
A week or so before Halloween, before the trees dropped all their leaves, I walked around that cemetery taking photos of some of the old graves that have more recently been recycled. (The system here is that when there is no one left to care for a grave, and a certain number of years/decades have passed since the last burial there, it can be reused.) When there are lots of "extra" decorations added on an old grave, that usually indicates a more recent burial - and often of someone young, or someone with roots in another country and culture. (In the photos I have avoided including names, though.)
So many stories...
Inspired Sunday #340
How glorious it all is! I love the one rose picture. And the beautiful trees. So if someone has been dead for a very long time and the grave not tended, they reuse it? Do they bury someone on top of the old one? But then it would not be deep enough. Here, we have rules about how deep a coffin must be buried.ReplyDelete
Ginny, I'm not familiar with all the details. Maybe they only reuse the old graves for cinerary urns. There are records kept and the church/cemetery administration will know what can be done or not.Delete
The system in Germany is similar. Usually the time frame set for reusing a grave means that the coffin (and its contents) will have decomposed. Urns last longer; when my maternal Grandma died, we had her urn placed in a columbarium and the urn of my Grandpa - who died 11 years before her - removed from the original grave site to be placed in the columbarium with Grandma's. The former grave was then left to be reused. The older relatives in that grave had been buried between 30 and 60 years earlier, so nothing was left of them that could have been moved elsewhere.ReplyDelete
PS: I like how you put it - a reminder of death and at the same time of life.Delete
I'm not sure how common coloumbariums are here. I know there is a variety of alternatives when it comes to burying ashes, though - either individually, or anonymously in a common remembrance garden within the cemetery.Delete
I agree about reminding of death and life. the cemetery is so peaceful and beautiful, both sad and not sad at the same time. there is a peaceful feeling about old cemmeterys that has always called to me. to wander and read the names and think about what their lives were like. your photos are perfect for us to see what you saw. the angels and lamps are beautiful and the rose says it all without words.. gone but not forgotten. I see librarian mentioned decomposed. here in USA we are forced to bury the coffins in a concrete and very expensive vault, which means there is no way to reuse the space,.. even my dad's metal urn had to be placed in a tiny coffin and a concrete vault. mother was buried there in 1990, his name was on it, and it still cost 3000.00 to bury the urn.ReplyDelete
Sandra, over here I think the vault kind of graves are rare. At least I can't recall ever seen any like that - except that some old churches/cathedrals have crypts underneath, or huge stone sarcophagi standing in some side-chapel, or gravestones incorporated in the floor (marking graves beneath). But those were only for very important people.Delete
Nie peaceful cemeteryReplyDelete
It's so nice to see cemeteries well looked after, beautiful colours in these photos with the leaves and the plants.ReplyDelete