Tuesday, October 16, 2007


A couple of comments on this mornings post about my Grandmother mentioned that I should go light a candle for her.

I've done one better than that.
I've been to see her this dinnertime.

Something has been nagging me all morning about how the idea for that post, which I typed last night, came into my head, I hardly ever think about her from one year to the next, have not been to her grave in 30 years, not unless you count the one time that I took one of our dogs for a walk around there and didin't find her headstone.

It nagged me so much, the fact that she suddenly sprung into my head last night and the fact that I sort of knew that she died in October that I got off my arse in the office this lunchtime and took the 500 yard hike to the huge municipal cemetery down the road where she and her husband, my grandad, have lain ignored by the few family members who still survive around here.

Its been so long that even the cemetery has changed and hedges now surround small half acre sized plots of hundreds of graves where I remember it all being just open rows and rows. I had a sort of half memory of a rough location but seeing the layout now convinced me that I had no chance of finding their grave marker - for they have no headstone as such, just a small concrete planter with two name plaques fixed to it to mark their "twin" grave.

I walked around for a bit, found two sections where rows and rows of similar "planters" exist and so narrowed the choice down to something around a thousand graves, all of which had the same concrete planter and same green plaques that you need to be up close to to read - no chance of finding one specific grave then.

And then just as I was leaving the name "Atkinson" jumped out at me - and there they were - I actually said "Bingo" to myself.

The last time I had stood there must have been nearly forty years ago and the location was not as I remembered, it was pure chance that I had found the grave and as I stood there I felt very guilty about writing that her house smelled and she couldn't cook, even though it was true.

And the answer to the question that had dragged me away from the office on a daft quest prompted by a memory flashback last night ?

21st October 1971, 36 years this Sunday at 73 years of age, I may take some flowers this weekend, if there had been any lying around on one of her neighbours grave then I'd have nicked them for her, just for the record and so I don't forget before I get home to refresh the family tree my grandad Richard from whom I take his name for one of mine, was there first having died on Boxing Day 1959 aged 65.

I wonder which old ghosts will come and nag me next ?


Grannymar said...

Well done for going to the cemetery.

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