The Ashes Wall

On Friday we visited the cemetery. As it was a public holiday, the place was deserted. It was a cool morning, and the sun was warm on my skin, which was a good thing because I felt chills walking through the cemetery.

No, not because I thought it was haunted. It was because a part of me recognised the truth. Barry is dead. That’s a cold, hard fact. And, as I walked amongst the graves of other dead people, I have to admit that this upset me.

The Ashes Wall

Considering the size of the area this cemetery services, I was surprised by the few places “occupied” in the two Ashes Walls. The photo above shows the smaller of the two.

There is another option. We could place Barry in the retaining wall surrounding the garden seen behind the wall in the photo, but I didn’t like that idea. I didn’t like the garden, it was a bit overgrown and messy. More importantly, I didn’t like the thought of his ashes easily assessable by vandals either. I’ve heard horror stories regarding this in the past and I couldn’t stand it to happen to my son’s resting place. No, I can’t let that happen.

I cried as I walked around the walls, and the graves, and read the inscriptions. So many young deaths. So much heart ache. It just doesn’t seem right or fair. Having seen the place I intend to place Barry, it hasn’t made my decision any easier. In fact, I think it may be a little harder. Maybe I’m not ready to let go just yet. Maybe it’s enough for me to know the options that are available, for the time being. Maybe I’ll just let Barry rest on his bed until the time feels right.

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2 thoughts on “The Ashes Wall

  1. This picture was very interesting to me, because I’ve never seen an Ashes Wall before. Here, ashes are simply interred in the same way as other remains. The Wall is quite beautiful, in a strange way.

    It is odd for me to drive past the graveyard where my grandfather, grandmother, and aunt are buried (it is quite nearby). My aunt was the only one of the three who chose to be cremated. The three are side-by-side in the cemetery, and yet I do not feel like she is “there.” I only feel the presence of my grandparents there. Some days this is an upsetting feeling, and other days I feel more comforted by it. It’s very strange and hard to explain. I can’t even explain it to myself.

    At any rate (and not that my opinion matters in this of course) I think the wall has a very dignified and safe and oddly beautiful feel.

  2. When I saw the number of spaces taken in the two walls, I thought it must be a new thing, but after reading some of the inscriptions I know that isn’t the case. The wall in the photo is quite new, but the other wall dates back 20 or so years.

    What you said about your grandparents and aunt is strange, but I can actually relate to that. In fact, it’s something I intend to write about when I think I can say the right words and get my thoughts across correctly. As you said, it’s hard to explain.

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