I was asked recently to take a couple to the graveyard to visit a loved one. It’s something I do if I can. On this occasion I was able to do it and went to pick them up. They explained that it had been a year since their loved one had passed away and they had tried to rally family members around to buy a headstone. The request seemed to have fallen on death ears as non of the family ha come forward to make a donation. The couple were pretty annoyed as the other family members had been on lavish holidays. More hurtful, I felt; is that the other family members hadn’t even acknowledged the request.
The weather wasn’t particular nice and it began to rain. Never a good day to visit a graveyard. Some would say, no day is a good day to visit a grave.On the way to the graveyard, only a 15 minute journey, there was a discussion about who had visited the grave, The couple explained that family members had said they were going to visit the grave the day before. I sensed a some some relief that someone else had visited the grave.
On the way we stopped at a flower shop. We pulled into he graveyard and drove around until we were near the grave. On the way the heavens opened and it poured down, sadly a sign of what was to come. I sat in my car as the couple walked up a graveyard aisle, still pouring with rain. I gazed over as they laid what they had bought from the flower shop. A short time later them came back to the car heads lowered in conversation. I felt it would have been longer if the rain had subsided.
The doors closed behind me and I started my car. No one had been to the grave as they said they would. The grave was exactly the same as the last time they had visited. There was a slight angry tone when they explained this. But more than all an overwhelming sense of sadness that no one had gone as promised, no one had bothered to pay their respects to their loved one. ‘They should have gone’, ‘they said they would’. I drove them home, a quiet journey.