The Drunks and the Dead


I love cemeteries. Odd, I know. I wonder through the headstones looking at the dates and figuring out how old the person was when they died. I read the inscriptions and think about their loved ones, the lives, the losses. Sometimes I imagine a whole life history around a single monument. When Max saw the little cemetery he said it was the cheeriest little cemetery he had ever seen. Max often has the unique gift to see and verbalize things that others miss. And he is right; it is a cheery little cemetery.

the cemetaery

The various sized concrete rectangles above ground are all painted white, many with bright flowers and decorations adorning the monuments. Iguanas sun themselves on the warm blocks of concrete that separate the cemetery from the white sand of the beach and our apartment stairs. Palm trees sway in the breeze. Three harmless drunks hang out there every day with the dead, their bottles open, quietly passing the time and feeding the birds. We have wondered what initially drew them there. Were they already drunks who just like the quiet to live their life out of the bottle or did a tragedy bring them there, time passed, they stayed and the bottle followed. Who knows? Jim has nodded to them on his way to the water during his time here while I was in Ottawa and they have always been pleasant   but I can tend to engage in a lot of

conversation and it may not be prudent given that we live right here.

The cemeteries in Greece looked similar to this. Headstones are crowded with candles, pictures and mementoes from their loved ones life.  They were not the melancholy places that often pervade where we bury our dead. When I went down just now to take some pictures (I am going to try and start posting more pictures) there was an old weathered man standing beside a fairly recent stone, flowers by his feet. I almost stopped to talk with him but didn’t want to intrude. I wonder what his story is.


5 responses »

  1. In some cultures, the departed are visited by their loved ones to commemorate their passing and held to celebrate/observe (by christian catholic tradition) once a year. They would beautify cemeteries and bring food for the dead, plants flowers and paint tombstones -I believe it is called All Saint’s Day or All Soul’s Day…

  2. a quick follow-up on my posting… of course the deceased don’t eat the food, lol, the living eats them 🙂 this solemn feast is an attempt to show/remember the deceased their fav food…

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