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Befriending the dead?

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Befriending the dead?

Postby firebirdflys » Sun May 19, 2019 3:15 am

Ok, so, I like cemeteries. Some are cooler than others. I'm partial to ones with up right headstones, so many in my area are the "park" like setting with stones flat on the ground. The cemetery where dad is buried has both...in any case, when visiting Dad or Grandma (she's there too) I've gotten familiar with the folks in the surrounding area.
My dilemma is this, there is a young man near by, buried shortly after dad that I would visit also.
(I've watched the spaces fill in, he is (was) at the edge of a newer section.)
There I would sit with this young man and ponder his demise, so young... only 21. He has a snowboarder on his stone no doubt a favorite sport. Everett is his name. I found myself saving a flower from my bouquets or bringing some kind of stone or token for him, stopping to visit with him as I was on the way in or out, you know, just talking to this young man, grieving the loss of his life. Asking God why.
Then one day I decided to google his name and was horrified by his story. I've seen his parents there, never wanted to intrude upon their time with him. Their only child stabbed to death by a crazy woman that was jealous of Everett who had begun to date the crazy woman's ex girlfriend. I just realized last time I was up there that he would have been 30 by now, perhaps with kids and a career and snowboarding on the weekends. Such a senseless loss. I find myself getting very angry at the woman who cut his life short.
Had anyone else ever befriended a dead person?
I feel such a connection to this young man, it was like he was screaming out at me when I first noticed his stone about ten years ago.
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby SpiritTalker » Sun May 19, 2019 8:23 am

Hi FIrebird. As having worked over 20 years at a cemetery I've been given many stories from cemetery visitors; quite a number will leave extra flowers on "neighbor's" graves & coins on the soldier's headstones they pass. Visitors often stopped at the office to ask about people they never knew in life & copy their obituaries (I'd laminate them as a gift). The gifts you've brought Everett are a comfort & I believe help him move on.
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby Silas Nightfall » Sun May 19, 2019 11:53 am

Firebird, do you realize that by making this post you have already elevated his spirit? Now, a whole bunch of people on this forum are now aware of him and his story. I would consider the post itself a token.

PS As a goth, I love cemeteries!
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby firebirdflys » Mon May 20, 2019 6:24 pm

@ SpiritTalker, Thanks, I figured you would have some insights on this. That's awful nice you could make a obit copy for folks. I heard of a program that I don't know if isin effect yet, but someone had the idea to put a chip in a gravestone that would have the history of a person on it. I notice that not all obituary will say how the person died and I don't know why it but seems a part of a persons story. Maybe like Everett it is just too painful.
I wondered if you had those who would speak to you be because they have passed due to a traumatic death or more normal causes or was their any difference as to the reason they would reach out to you, or maybe you didn't know? What seemed to be the overall pressing need to reach out? was there one?

@ Silas, Yea I think a picnic in a cemetery is a lovely place to spend an afternoon :surprisedwitch:
I like the idea of his spirit being elevated. I feel like those who died in traumatic ways have soul fragmentation. I had a friend who suggested that folks who leave suddenly via some kind of traumatic accident aren't aware that they have left and continue to reach out to us yet most of us cannot hear them. Makes some sense?
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby Silas Nightfall » Mon May 20, 2019 8:49 pm

Now you have me wanting to find a new cemetery to have a picnic at.
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby firebirdflys » Mon May 20, 2019 11:22 pm

I have wondered about stone maintenance. Do you think there would be a market for folks who would pay to keep their loved ones stone looking good? or is there already such a service?. I find myself sweeping and trimming anyway. :mrgreen:
Hey Silas, I found a couple out on a drive in the country. Small and remote. Seemed like the land and it's skeletal family could use a visit.
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby SpiritTalker » Tue May 21, 2019 3:04 am

In each situation ive experienced in which the dead reached out it wasn't because of how they died - whether natural, murder or suicide - but because they were still concerned for the one's left behind. Love.

Obits are a newspaper service to make money for the newspaper. Mourners & not the curious pay for the service. Cemetery records will show the cause of death info.

Re: services - headstone maintenance is a liability. $$$ - ka-ching. Granite is a harder stone than softer, porous marble. Never use anything stiffer than a soft toothbrush, dish soap & water.
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby firebirdflys » Tue May 21, 2019 12:11 pm

Ah!, Love...makes sense. Thanks for that. I've often wondered why some seem to grab my attention while others do not. Children are especially vocal. At the same cemetery there is a raised block plot that houses 15 children all boys all under the age of 18, with only one adult, a man. I have tried to intuit their story, but nothing really comes. I thought home for boys and house fire or something but the DOD dates are all different. The cemetery doesn't have records for that section and I forgot why...think I'll ask the caretaker again, he and I have gotten pretty friendly over the years, but he isn't always around and I often go after the gates have been locked. They have a pedestrian gate that is always open. I wish all cemeteries had that. Our local one is locked tight at 5:pm :cry:

Spirit, in your experience do folks respect the place (cemetery grounds) or are vandals a real problem? I had a friend turn over a paver at his new place that turned out to be a broken piece of a stone. He would like to return it but doesn't know where it's from. One would think holy/sacred grounds would be respected.

BTW, maybe we should start a picnic program. :fairy: Visit a cemetery with your friends eat some food and do a little stone maintenance? Is the liability with the cemetery? they would be worried a crew would do more harm than good? I saw a truck at my last visit to Dad that had a guy I believe power washing the vet stones probably in prep for Memorial Day. Ouch, that was noisy.

one more thing, there is an Ossuary there, with a cool little triangular door, do you suppose they pour ashes in there?

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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby Silas Nightfall » Tue May 21, 2019 12:48 pm

Around here, things are really calm and respectful. Most don’t even have a fence, much less a gate. They are always neatly kept.
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Re: Befriending the dead?

Postby SpiritTalker » Tue May 21, 2019 3:42 pm

I don't know - around here I can't think of any locked cemeteries ... just gates across the entrance, but no long fences. You can just walk around it. As for mingling ashes -- that doesnt seem like it'd be consistent with respectful treatment of remains.

I suppose every cemetery gets it's share of idiots with more testosterone than brain's. We'd had upright memorials toppled & the annual bon fire in a trash barrel. I've seen adults raid the flower beds to pick a bouquet to put on a grave (now there's some deep sentiment). Speaking of stolen plants, sometimes early Memorial Day decorations got stolen & resold at flea markets. I'd try to be greatful that I've never been that desperate. The worst vandalism we'd had was by an 11-yo psycho kid with a axe to grind - literally.

Where I worked the original "pioneer" horse & buggy cemetery records were ledger books that just noted name & burial date, not site. What survives was reconstructed by a local historical society project in the Depression era. Then the county annexed the land and the church bought up along side that & it all became one cemetery in the 1950s. All records were duplicated in the '60's & stored off site in case of fire. In my time we computerized.
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