Sunday, June 29, 2008


We walked through a cemetery last week. It was established well over a century ago. I don't know the whole history, but is more of a military burial ground, at least currently.

I was struck by the variety we found there. The plots were shaped differently, marked differently, sized differently. It is immediately obvious the people have been buried differently. Perhaps what seemed most different to me is the arrangement of the plots. While there is presumably some rhyme and rhythm to it, the pattern was not immediately clear. It is not all in neatly arranged rows. There are some buried completely underground, some fully above ground, some partially submerged. The smaller sizes of children's plots are especially obvious in those partially above ground.

Death is like that. Grief is like that. Life is like that. Every life, every situation, every death -- all unique. We try to clean things up and make them feel more predictable. But, in the end, there is always a sense of disorder.

And I wondered about the lives represented there. Lives like the one described in this brief statement:

"In memory of W.R.H. Manser, Bugler, R.M.L.I. H.M.S. Volace. Died January 27, 1888, aged 16 years. This stone was erected by his shipmates."

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