Whenever I visit a cemetery I’m reminded of my own mortality and the transitory nature of all living things. On Sunday 29 April I visited relatives in Southwick a small town located just outside Brighton. During the course of the day I took my dog for a walk which took in a stroll through Southwick Cemetery (http://www.adur.gov.uk/your-environment/cemeteries.htm).
The rain had stopped for a while and my walk was a pleasant one. Living things where all around. Horses grazed contentedly in a field next to the cemetery, birds sang, my dog pulled against his lead full of a zest for life and beautiful flowers adorned the well kept graves. Above ground humanity and other living things went about their lives while close at hand the dead slumbered.
Modern life is full of noise. We are bombarded with advertisements for the latest products. People text, communicate via Facebook and watch television. Our lives are full of activity meaningful or otherwise. However on visiting cemeteries we come face-to-face with the solitary reaper the one from whom none can hide. All the conveniences and technological innovations of modern existence fail to shield us from the ultimate truth that we will all, one day cease to be. Perhaps all the texting, the loud music and the use of Twitter is a means of shutting out the reality of death. Noise and activity stifles thought for a time at least but when we visit a cemetery we face our own mortality, not a comfortable experience but for all that a real one.