Next to the place from which SPC C and I gazed out over the valley I mentioned in my post yesterday was an old, but not abandoned, cemetery surrounded by a makeshift and rickety barbed-wire fence. Some of the gravestones appeared weathered by years of wind and rain while other graves were marked by seemingly new, and highly-polished, granite headstones.
The contrast was stark.
Clearly the site was chosen so that the graves would be on the bluff looking north into the Homeland to which those living in Kosovo felt such a close connection. The view of the valley and the small mountains across the river is breathtaking.
There is a medium-sized tree at one end of the cemetary, the bare and gnarled branches of which gave a definite Edgar Alan Poe quality to the time of day and to the place itself.
One grave, enclosed by a tilting metal fence, languished across the road from all the others, off by itself and farther away from the edge of the cliff overlooking the valley. The small enclosure was completely overgrown with weeds, and unlike many of the other -- even old -- graves, there were no leavings of flowers and food and drink. I decided not to photograph it.
The husband had died in 1974; he was in his 60s. The plot for his wife had the year of her birth etched into the granite headstone, but not the year of her death. The digits 1 and 9 anticipated her demise before the turn of the millennium, but the other two digits had never been filled in. Had she lived to the year 2000, she'd have been 105 years old, which is why I presume she'd been buried elsewhere.
I found myself wondering why that one grave existed apart from the rest, though I suspect I know the answer.
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ