At some point, the way some people visit family starts to look different. I was young—in my twenties—when my parents died within 18 months of each other and the shift started for me.
Not everyone gets it, but visiting the grave of someone who was once part of my life (or history, in the case of those I never met this side of heaven) is a way of honouring the person, the connection, and the place.
Place is important to me. Maybe more so having lost so many so early leaving place the only remaining tangible connection. Yesterday, Gerry and I drove southeast from Moose Jaw and visited places that mean a lot to me.
We also visited two cemeteries where I paid my respects those those I loved and who remained in my life the longest—and those I new only through stories.
After stopping and lingering at my family’s markers, we walked around, looking at old cracked and weathered gravestones, marvelling at the heartbreak of families who lost babies and young children year after year a century ago. Such tragedy would have broken most of us, yet they had no choice but to carry on.
In between cemetery visits, we stopped by the monstrosity that once was my grandma’s house. We talked to the young couple who live next door and learned about some of the nonsense that’s gone on there over the years with the house and inexplicable large and poorly built addition that’s been tacked on to the back.
Choosing to ask forgiveness rather than permission if confronted, I wandered around the yard pointing out the space where the old outhouse once stood and the rusty pole that was the start of Grandma’s clothesline where a rain gauge rested atop. I stood where those I love once stood, and remembered them.
It was a good day—a long day that was no good for pulling out the camera gear we had packed thanks to heavy smoke—and it will hold me for a time until I feel called to return.
In other news, I’m looking forward to tomorrow and a visit from living cousins I haven’t seen in decades!