(I had trouble sleeping and wrote this post late last night. I thought about nuking it and starting over, but decided to run it anyway. I don’t plan on editing it, so take it for what it is worth.)
Come Talk to Me– Peter Gabriel
Some people are afraid of cemeteries, I am not. Sometimes I visit my grandfather. I sit down next to his grave and listen. Every now and then I share a story with him about what is going on in my life.
In an age of Bluetooth earpieces it probably doesn’t look like I am the crazy guy on the subway who sits there talking to himself. Although I tend not to do it for too long. After a few minutes it feels a bit screwy so I switch from speaking out loud to telepathy. Ok, telepathy is not exactly what I am doing either, but it is after midnight and I am tired.
A few years ago I was learning with the rabbi at my shul and was shocked to hear that a number of the adults in the room had never been to a funeral, let alone the cemetery. The rav took an informal poll and there must have been a half dozen hands from people who said that they had never been. They ranged in age from early thirties to a man in his early fifties.
I was dumbfounded by this. It seemed almost impossible that someone could go thirty years without attending a funeral, let alone fifty. Surely someone they knew had died. I didn’t bother interrogating them about the particulars of why they had never been, it didn’t matter.
As we walked to our cars a few of them asked me to tell them about funerals and the cemetery. I was tempted to put on Lux Aeterna and to weave a scary tale about how horrifying the experience had been.
It wouldn’t have been hard. D’s funeral offered plenty of material. I won’t ever forget the look of horror and dismay on his mother’s face. I heard his brother mention me by name and tell his parents that I would see that D was properly buried. I could tell a million more stories about that day.
In fact, I had thought that I’d never see a funeral in which people were more heartbroken and then I hit this one. But I digress.
I didn’t tell them any horror stories. I gave a very basic description about what happened at the funeral and then explained that a cemetery can be a very peaceful place. I suppose that is not a coincidence, although I wonder. Some people might prefer a different layout, a different set up.
Instead of a tranquil, calm environment it could quite loud. You could build a factory/warehouse and play some loud, disturbing music. Imagine if they piped in the Theme To Halloween or just soundtracks to horror movies in general.
Or even worse, you could listen to Celine Dion doing a cover of AC/DC or Roseanne doing the National Anthem. Incidentally Roseanne’s voice sounds the way I imagine the author of the essay in this post must sound.
Ok, I am losing it. Night for now.