Today I walked among the dead. There is a kind of solemnity in graveyards. So much love so much pain. So many stories... The stories of their births and deaths.
“These are the lucky ones,” I thought to myself. The following reply came as a cynical retort:
“What is luck? Once you are dead, you are dead. What difference is there?”
“At least these people have someone who remembers them,” my inner dialogue continued. “Someone who brings them flowers.”
A half-snort half-smile. “What do you need flowers for when you are dead? You are dead.”
True, but I kept thinking about all the people, the refugees or migrants who die at sea, those whose bodies are thrown somewhere like old rags. Of course there are many more who die without any graves. Victims of genocide, victims of war. They are all dead. Still, one feels there has to be a “dignity” to death, in death. At least a bit of dignity.
“Dignity? That's all human-made concepts. It's all in your mind. Who cares? Once you are dead, you are dead. They are all dead.”
I couldn't say anything. It's true. What do we need a headstone for? It's all rituals we have made up to console ourselves. Cemeteries are for the living. To help them deal with their loss, their pain. Or perhaps to come to terms with their own mortality. The dead do not rise from their graves and start living because someone brings flowers to them.
I remembered the song. “Do not stand at my grave and weep, I'm not there.”
A line goes around here in Italy: “Nessuno muore chi vive nel cuore di chi resta.”
“No one, who lives in the heart of someone who stays, dies.”
As I usually do, I'd like to change that a bit: “Nessuno muore chi vive nel cuore di un altro.”
“No one, who lives in the heart of another, dies.”
Yes, that's where our loved ones live. In our hearts...