Monday, 13 April 2009

Popping in to say hello

R is buried here. His grave is where you can just about make out the dog.

Up to a couple of years ago, if you had asked me what will happen to my mortal remains after I die, I would have assumed that I would be cremated. R felt the same. Then, by chance, we met the people who run this green field burial site and it all fell into place. Neither of us was planning to die any time soon, but we both realised that this was what we would like to ultimately happen to us.
So when R did decide to exit suddenly stage right, it was one thing I didn't have to think about. His family didn't object at all, as that was what he wanted.

It was absolutely the right place for him. He loved hills. This is the view from one side of his grave.

It appealed to his sense of utility to know that this is also a hay field. The grass will be allowed to grow up and the farmer will take a cut of hay in June/July. For this reason, the only permanent marker at his grave is a small, flat stone with a number on it. Otherwise we are allowed to plant native bulbs on the grave, and we sowed a packet of wild flower mix at his burial. They should start to flower soon, now that the daffodils are dying back.

For me, it is the place I feel closest to R. Sometimes I can't get a sense of him at home. When the pressure starts to build in my head, I come and sit here for an hour and talk to him. It comforts me to know that one day I will be there with him; my space in the grave is already booked and paid for. Watching the buzzards circle overhead, listening to the newly-arrived curlews and being near him gives me a feeling of peace and warmth that will keep me going for another few days. At least until the next wave comes.

I also love the fact that I can bring Moose with me (although he does stay in the car on the rare occasions that there is someone else there). Sometimes he will come and lie down beside me. Or else the farm dog comes over to visit and they romp around the field.

Today, however, I'm not so sure it was a good idea. After I had shed my tears, told R all the news and was feeling ready to cope with the coming week, I turned to go.
Only to see the dog rolling in a large pile of very fresh, unutterably smelly fox crap.
It was a long journey home, even with all the windows open!


  1. Dogs force you to stay in the moment, don't they?

    I did like the reverie of the moment before the covered in crap part, tho.



  2. They do indeed. It is certainly hard to laugh and gag at the same time!