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Monday, July 28, 2008

A classless society

These look like beautiful homes in a peaceful and well-groomed neighborhood. Actually, they are houses for the dead, mausoleums. My husband and I visited the cemetary where mom's wake was held with our dog, LuckyHappy. It was so peaceful, so unlike the busy avenue just outside the gates. The further down you go in the cemetary, the more quiet it becomes. I once read in a book that in the desert you experience perfect silence. In a cemetary, you feel tremendous peace. Maybe that's what it's like when you cross over.
I wouldn't mind living here. But it struck me that just outside, there are living people who reside in shacks, while in the cemetary you have these structures for the dead.
Some mausoleums, close up. Now, these are for the rich dead, let me add.

As we walked along, I saw these tiny orange buds. Not fruit, mind you. They bloom into lavenders, like what you see to the left.

That's my hubby. Some people can't afford mausoleums, but they have these above ground structures. with a place to put potted flowers and a bench.
I love how the two trees cross towards each other.


LuckyHappy is very camera shy, and it took great effort to get this closeup of him. Ed and I really wanted quality time with him. He wandered quietly, observing everything around him.
And as usual, he ducked when he saw me aiming my camera.
We found this delightful family of askals who apparently live here. They barked our way, and LuckyHappy looked curiously. Then they ran back off to a fenced area that they apparently consider home.
We found this sitting area near a gravestone on the ground. No wonder some families like to picnic in the cemetary. I could see myself here with a laptop and going online or just writing.

These, I suppose are for the urns of those who were cremated. But many years ago, when I was in gradeschool, we lived near a cemetary for poor people. At that time, people in the Philippines didn't cremate their dead. They just put the bones in little boxes like these. I used to be fascinated and felt a bit sad for those people.
"Lay no flowers on my head. Sing no sad songs for me." I love what they carved on stone.
28 years later, someone still remembered to bring flowers:)
Isn't it beautiful the way this gravesite is adorned with flowers?

Mom's grave is something like this, just on the ground. The lapida is supposed to be ready in 2-3 weeks. Alice, Ted and I visited her plot and Alice placed flowers. But since mom was buried in a cemetary different from the one where her wake was held, I am showing this to give you an idea of what it will be like when her lapida is ready.
I wondered why the cemetary is so beautiful and clean, so fragrant when so many living people outside the wall live in squalor. But I also know that in the Philippines, on all Saints Day and all Souls Day, families gather around their relatives plot with food, beddings, music, guitars, everything and it's like a party. they even get to know the people from the nearbye gravesites. So cemetaries are also parks for the living here. It's all part of the cycle. and then in heaven, there's a classless society.



2 comments:

Blue said...

It all looks so peaceful.
I've seen similar huge mausoleum in cemetaries in Paris.
I'm sure Mama's spot will be lovely, and you'll go there often.
As I scatter my Mother's ashes @ the sea, everytime I visit I scatter flowers on the waves.

Crazed Mom said...

I'm sorry about your mom. When I lost my mom 11 years ago I was thankful she was out of pain. It is what she wanted after 20 years of chronic pain.

You made the cemetary beautiful. Though I agree let's take care of the living. (I'd be excommunicated if I still went to Catholic church!)

HUgs and much empathy for you. :)