THE SILENT GRAVE

I sat and wondered yesterday. I wondered a lot. Sat there on the hill. Wondered if, if I really tried, I could walk up that hill again. In my mind I did. With the pink glow of the evening sun on the church tower.

I walked here with my grandmother. Taking goodies to an elderly lady in one of the houses. That’s what my grandmother did. Came down into the village from the farm with a basketful of baking and the most wonderful goodies for those who could not afford much food. We would go to a few houses. All of these people we knew well. Sitting chatting with them was an amazing time. They were always pleased to see us.

I could hardly believe that no longer could I walk up that hill. It is not a steep one. Just a bit of a rise. I still think that if only I tried harder, I could walk.

In the graveyard beneath the church tower are many graves. One is of my real grandfather, and his brother. I say my real grandfather because he died of a brain tumour when my mother was only a year old. No one looks after his grave. My grandmother never even told my mother where her father’s grave was. But we found it. And took her to it. It was overgrown. My mother began pulling out the bits of long grass, to try a d clear the grave. Beneath, we found the most beautiful grave in the form of an open book, like a Bible. I do not remember the words that were on it, for it is a long time ago now, that we stood there, looking at it. As we sat, yesterday, I wanted to walk to the grave again. But the churchyard is overgrown. A wilderness. Just like the lives of my family. Disparate. Unconnected. Wild.

This grave was secret. My grandmother married again, with my mother just a little girl. She never told my mother who her father was. My mother thought that her grandfather, my grandmother’s father, was her father. In later years, someone told my mother who her father really was.

My grandmother always felt that my mother was a burden to her new husband – a very rich man. Even though he wanted to give my mother his name. But my grandmother would not allow that. It would be to betray her first husband. A real lovematch. But she left the grave. Never visited it. Never cared for it. It all had to be forgotten. Never to be mentioned again.

I always thought that Pop, the rich farmer, was my grandfather. But he wasn’t. A very silent but very kindly man. I was scared of him. I had to be quiet around him.

But there, in the churchyard is the silent grave. But with such a story to tell. He was only 23 when he died. His whole life in front of him. There were plans. He was to have had a smallholding, and then, eventually, his own farm. How could he have lain in that churchyard for all these years, almost forgotten?

I can’t walk. But I want to put flowers on his grave. To salute him for who and what he was. A kind and good man.

How strange that when we arrived at that place near to the church tower where we park, the other evening, the church clock had stopped again – at 8.35, the exact time that I was born.

13 thoughts on “THE SILENT GRAVE

  1. blindzanygirl

    Thankyou so much Carol. It is. Those words of yours meancso much to me. Thankyou. I may write more, but I don’t want to bore people lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so fortunate to have those memories held so clearly, I ‘inherited’ a bunch of tapes made by my grandfather telling his life story. They are like a treasure that can never be replaced 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. blindzanygirl

    I can imagine David. Of course, I never met my real grandfather, but we are trying to get to be able to visit his grave. We spoke to the vucar today, who is going to try to get it all cleared so we can go. My mother told me of all these things, she is 93

    Like

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