In My Remains
I’m not sure why I love visiting old graveyards, perhaps it comes from running though the one near my grandparents’ house during lighting storms in the summer – the open roads were surrounded by cornfields and soybean fields, leaving me feeling tall and vulnerable. In the graveyard under towering trees I felt safe.
Perhaps that, but more likely it is a fascination of what we do with our dead. I think most people hope that there will be a person who loves us who will do something unique and inspiring with their remains. A nice gravestone. A statue above. For some, during times of great plagues and war, there are less desirable ways to dispose of our remains: mass graves.
Some of these eventually were dug up and stacked to line the catacombs; now miles of bones under the streets of Paris. Perhaps even more interesting is a graveyard outside of Prague considered so holy that there wasn’t enough room for all those wishing to be buried there, so to make room, the older occupants were dug up, their bones used to decorate the chapel.
Regardless of where our shells end up, eventually every person who truly knew us will pass, and the real memories of who we truly were will fade, leaving only statues, or tombs, or gravestones… or chandeliers made of bone. They will all eventually crumble, the names fading: even the stone meant to forever immortalize is not permanent.