This was one tiresome and sad week. Laying my Dad to rest at the place his parents already were buried. Driving a thousand kilometers (pretty much exactly) down from Berlin to Styria and back. All rounded up by a virtual ceremony of his church (the Jehova Witnesses) today for all those, who could not be present for pandemic reasons. Which was everybody not close family.
But there are two good things to say about it all:
First, it was the right decision to drive all the way by myself. In my tiny car. Sweetheart – who could not come along having to look after his own, sick mom – was worried and wanted me to fly or take his huge car. But to be honest, the 140 km per hour my little car makes at maximum speed was just the right speed to let my spirit come along the trip, too. It gave me time and space to recall so many things, my father said or did. And I could cry my heart out as much as I wanted without bothering anyone. Or having to bother about others. I needed that. That goes for both ways – the ten hours down and back up.
Second: I hardly remembered the cemetary, where his urn would be put to rest. I only was there once, when my grandmother (Dad’s mom) died. I was 12 years old and had a bad cold, running a fever. All I remember is being at my other grandmother’s hand, freezing in sleet and snow. And I vividly remember the service in the catholic church – it was the first one I ever attended. I never had seen that much gold and glitter or experienced so much pomp before in my life. (Gran was a strict catholic who lived with us until she died and my dad saw to it, that her burial was the way she wanted, even if he was the regional leader of a different faith or sect, call it as you want). Thursday was the first time I came back to that place. Of course, this time we didn’t need the church. But the nearby graveyard is just perfect. It sits right by a wood of dark firs sloping up the mountains in the middle of a green meadow. Not far off is another pasture with some cows and horses grazing. There is a low wall covered with ancient silver larch shingles circumferrencing the burial ground, a tiny chapel (which stayed closed) and only a few rows of graves, maybe four rows, all with familiar names of the region. Including the name of my ancestors on the father’s side. I was there an hour early to have a few moments alone with my dad. The two staff who brought the urn stayed out of sight somewhere. As I sat next to what was left of my father, kept in that unspectacular, simple urn, I was able to hear the birds singing and the hum of a bee or early bumble bee. Just as if someone wanted to calm me down. It was truly peaceful and helped me through what followed. It calms me even know, as I write this. To know, what a beautiful, secret and hidden spot this is.