The first chapter of Neil Gaiman’s latest best seller, The Graveyard Book (thanks for the copy Babe!) is titled ‘Why Nobody Came to the Graveyard’ – obviously that is an antithesis to how most of us flocked graveyards last Halloween to remember our dead.
I read somewhere that it is funny, how relatives come together every All Saint’s Day, in a sort of reunion, and all the catching up and snacking covers the fact that most of the people around that grave knows very little about the person lying six feet below.
But I think what is more interesting is finding your departed loved one’s grave flocked with a different set of people, a day after All Saint’s Day – just like what happened to me and my family when we visited our grandparent’s burial last Monday.
It was very movie-like: we came exhausted all the way from a neighboring province; I was carrying this wonderful flower arrangement of white chrysanthemums and orchids, and as we approached the grave, it was obvious that a lot of people were gathered there, not noticing us that we just caught each other in deep surprise as our gazes locked.
It could’ve been fine, it was not as if they were another family of my grandparents – if only they were not using our grandparent’s grave to play Bingo, which they most certainly did, that they were like mice scrambling all around upon seeing us. Apparently, they were from the grave opposite ours and it so happened that ours has more shade from the big tree near it.
It was customary, to pray upon being there right? Instead, because of the Bingo thing, the first thing I said was “Lolo, sinong nanalo [Who won in the Bingo, grandfather]?