Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Sad

 I am away being an extra set of hands right now but today I had a chance to get a nice walk in.

I wasn't sure where I was going, but I set off at a good clip. I saw a city cemetary. I do love a good explore in an old cemetery. 

Two things I had never seen before: the family plots with the old names that I recognized from street signs and park signs all had little carved stone entrances. The middle of those plots contained huge monuments with the family name. The family was all laid to rest around the central marker. I don't remember ever seeing that kind of set up before.

The other amazing thing was that many of the tombstones of the women listed their maiden names which made it easy to connect the Kutzes to the Klines to the Denkels to the Schaeffers.

It was an interesting walk.

Probably the saddest stone: a married couple was buried side by side with the normal collection of dates. On the other side, four babies were buried. They had just one year for two of them, indicating to me that they had died shortly after birth. The other two had lived for a few months.

Four babies! It was sad enough on its own, but the saddest thing of all is that their oldest boy was buried between the married couple on the other side of that stone.

He had outlived his siblings, but died at 16.

I could not take pictures. My phone was (ironically) dead.


17 comments:

  1. As sad as that is, I always greatly admire the people who bury and give headstones to the youngest of babies. It's such a show of respect to life.

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  2. You always find history in the cemeteries. Like these some are very sad.

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  3. I hope the 16 year old didn't die before either parent. Medical care and diseases were rough back then. Some still are. Linda in Kansas

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    1. He did not. The stone was in place for the babies. I imagine the parents had their names carved into the stone then, while they were still alive. The sixteen year old,s information was carved into the marble base, below and between his parents. He died in 1920. I wondered about the flew epidemic.

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  4. Cemeteries are sad places, easy enough to brood on the passing of life but they are also wild life sanctuaries as well.

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  5. A lot of the gravestones in our little churchyard are for babies and toddlers. Poor little mites.

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  6. What caused the population explosion at home and abroad was the decline in infant mortality. People had the same size families as previously, but most of the kids survived. Those extra children then went on to repeat the process. Eventually, people reduce the numbers of children that they have.

    Sorry about the demography lesson. It’s where my mind went.

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  7. I'm not sure what time period your cemetery is from, but babies had a terrible time in the days before antibiotics. (Stating the obvious, there.)

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  8. If the 16-yr old survived the parents, I wonder who he was living with when he died? Or if he was on his own?! Flu would be my guess for that date, as well.

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    1. I screwed up. For some reason I read Linda's comment as she hoped he survived his parents. He did not. They outlived him by 30 years.

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    2. Well that's even sadder. They outlived all their children! My paternal grandmother outlived her three boys (she also had three girls). One died as a toddler, one in middle age, and one fairly old. She said it wasn't natural.

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  9. So many dead babies in old cemeteries. Mum lost five babies between me and my sisters, I can't imagine. Neither of my parents ended up in cemeteries, their ashes were scattered, as will be mine. There's something comforting though about being able to go look at a headstone and know that you were connected to that person.

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  10. Perhaps it is location but here in the Midwest, it was quite common for a central marker in the middle of family plots. A lot of the tombstones surrounding the central marker even contain descriptions like "Mother" or "Father" or just first names like "George" or "Elizabeth". They will then etch full names and dates around the central marker.

    But those seemed to have fallen out of favor in the early 1900's. It isn't unusual still to see several in a row all related to each other but no central markers. I have always suspected it goes back to the mobility of our society. As we have become more mobile, we don't have enough people die in one place to make it worth buying up a group of plots.

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  11. When I was young, my Dad would take my siblings and I on long drives into the country. We always stopped at old cemeteries and would see who could find the oldest grave. We learned a lot about the old days and how rough things were for people then...
    I never see an old cemetery now without thinking of my Dad. :)

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  12. That's really sad, the plot with the four babies. I like the idea of the family all buried in a circle around a central monument though.

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  13. Oh gosh.... That is incredibly sad.

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