Friday Fun: Center of the Dead

The Friday Fun challenge has the prompt “dead centre.” I am interpreting this as a “center for the dead.” Where do the dead hang out? In the cemetery (or graveyard), of course! This is a good theme for the recent “All Souls Day” and “Day of the Dead.” While in France last June, I visited a graveyard – which is what it is called if it is next to and associated with a church – in Merville-Franceville-Plage, next to our farmhouse Airbnb. I love to wander around cemeteries and speculate on the inhabitants’ life stories.

The church is no longer in use.20190619_203801.jpg
This plaque is at the entrance to the graveyard.
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As I wandered among the graves, I didn’t always notice a connection between war and the people buried there, but their lives may have been touched by war. Probably most were parishioners of this church.

A few, such as the graves of children, are particularly poignant. This nine year old boy died in an aerial bombardment of World War II on April 20, 1944.
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Baby Jeanne had less than one month of life. Her grave is well taken care of.

How sad, the abandonment of  Louis Bayard’s grave, an 8-year-old child…
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Some of the graves were in a terrible state of abandonment, and were given this placard. I don’t speak French but I was able to figure out enough of it to interpret its meaning. It encourages someone to volunteer to preserve the grave. 20190619_205857.jpg
France being a Catholic country, it is not surprising that many of the graves contain a statue of Jesus on the cross.
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This half-buried Jesus appears to be holding up a heavy gravestone.

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Some graves were very old…
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While many were in bad shape, some were well-tended.

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Denise and Maurice Durel enjoyed long life, but she was 15 years a widow. She lived to be over 100 years old!

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A well-tended grave next to a neglected one

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Flowers continue to bloom on this crumbling grave.
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Louise lost her husband when he was only 45, and she lived to age 94!

Lots of the graves have “souvenir” plaques and other items placed on them.

A woman in her 90s, who had the same first and last name, was buried alongside her parents, who died in their 60s. The grave’s in good shape, but some flowers would be nice!
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