Last Friday Schatz and I flew to England for a long weekend, coming back to DUS yesterday. The “main event” was to visit my Dad’s grave, as I was in hospital here in Germany when he was buried. In truth, I probably would not have attended his funeral, sad to admit.
In the days before our visit, for Schatz came with me, I had printed out:
- The Lord’s Prayer in English
- The Lord’s Prayer in Germany
- The Lord’s My Shepherd
- A plan of the cemetery
We turned up in ideal cemetery visiting weather: dull and overcast, with drizzle. I brought my printouts. I had forgotten to call at the florist en route to pick up a bunch of flowers for the grave.
To paraphrase Julius Caeser, I came, I saw, I… felt nothing much. By referencing to other graves that had stones on, I found my Dad’s grave within five minutes of arrival. It was non-descript. No gravestone. (There never, ever will be one for him.) No wreath, no bouquet – either removed after so many days, or maybe, sad to say, stolen by local chavs. Just broken earth. It didn’t really look like a grave to trigger the “time to let British stiff upper lip wobble.”
Schatz went and grabbed three daffodils quietly from a corner of the cemetery. She placed them on the grave.
I had kept my promise to my Dad last autumn that we would definitely come to visit him in April this year. I just hadn’t anticipated under these circumstances.
We prayed at the foot of his anonymous grave. I discreetly photographed his grave. He has a picturesque view of the Yorkshire Moors.
It started to drizzle more. I looked Schatz in the eye. We nodded. It was time. We left the cemetery and headed back to the main road to get ready to head to Whitby for the fun part of the weekend.
No tears. No emotion. No numbness.
I came, I saw, I departed.
Have a closure-filled day, won’t you!