The Prime Real Estate of the Eden Cemetery, NSW

riverflows
riverflows @riverflows
· July 2019 · 4 min read · Australia · #cemeteryphotos

It strikes me that it is only in bygone eras that they’d situate a cemetery with prime views across the sea, unable to anticipate the coming centuries where it would become prime real estate with million dollar views to die for, excuse the pun. But of course it was a practical locale as well, because the sailors would bring their dead in for burial in the sandy soils from the early 1800’s.

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On the day I decide to walk through the cemetery we are leaving – the rain has set in and the blessing of a week of sunshine in Winter on the south coast of New South Wales has come to an end. The blue skies that turned TwoFold Bay in Eden into a turquoise paradise are now stone grey. The mist rolls over the gums as the rain falls onto the lichen, honey grevilleas, shells and plastic flowers which decorate the architecture of the place.


In any historical Australian graveyard I feel the terrible distances between Europe and Australia in those times. I wonder what brought them to this place on the other side of the world, and what it felt like to know you would never return to your homeland. For some, perhaps, this might have been a good thing – a place of opportunity, of escape, and the promise of fortunes in a new land. Some many never have felt the tug of nostalgia or the longing for family left behind. But I can’t help feel the wistfulness of the migrants who might have stared out into the bay and thought of how their lives would have been if they hadn’t come here, especially as they buried their dead.

Of course, cemeteries are fascinating because of the stories within them, the ones you cannot possibly know about unless some ancestry digging distant relative had recorded their story on the internet. The unknown graves are of course the biggest of mysteries, but then, all it makes me feel really is that I don’t want a marker on my grave, or to occupy space when I’m gone. Jamie spotted the line on this grave which reads ‘see, I told you I was sick!’, and I laughed that she clearly *wanted* that inscription on her grave for who else would have such black humour as to request for that on their loved ones grave? I wondered about the inscription too of the one who lived a ‘busy and useful life’ – is that a marker of a good life? Would someone say that about me? What makes ones life ‘useful’, after all? Isn’t that rather arbitrary? And if one wasn’t useful, according to this criteria, would you go ahead and write ‘lived a useless life, didn’t do a lot’ on someone’s grave?

There’s so many details that aren’t written on gravestones and the mind wants to fill in the gaps. What happened to the woman who died at 32 years old at Green Cape, now a national park and a campground and fishing spot? Did she fall off a cliff or drown? Of course, being a coastal area there would be so many drownings. There is the family who lost their son in the first world war, only for the lot of them to drown at sea after him, as if some karmic debt was wiping out the entire family line – and if it didn’t, who was left behind to mourn them?

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I wonder too about how even in death there are symbols of wealth and status in society – the huge pieces of granite surrounded by iron fences in contrast to more simple sandy graves with the wooden crosses long rotten. But time has a way of levelling – the inscriptions wear away in the storms that rise up over the ocean or the lichen obscures the lettering, the stones fall and crack, and the iron rusts and breaks, and we disappear, into the sands of time.



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Topics: CEMETERYPHOTOSDEATHTEAMAUSTRALIA

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You've been visited by @minismallholding from Homesteaders Co-op.

Trust you to bring a lump to my throat! This is the hardest part about seeing historical things, wondering how it must have been for them. Today we can not only keep in touch with our family in far away countries, we can actually see them through the magic of Skype. It makes that separation easier when we can do that and even know that, if the funds allow, we can be with them again in a day or two.


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Oh, yes, you would definitely know these feelings. When my grandparents moved out from Yorkshire they had six kids in tow, and left family behind. They were given an opportunity to record a three minute recording on vinyl of them all singing happy Christmas - you can here my six year old Mum saying 'Happy Christmas Granddad!' in a Yorkshire accent (she doesnt have that anymore thank god - my grandparents never lost theirs). They listened to it so many times that the vinyl was worn and crackley as anything. They'd only see their kids once more in their lifetime and their grandkids never.

Oh god I've set myself off now!



Those sort of places captivate me too. We just can't help but find history irresistible because of all those lingering questions. This is fresh on my mind because I took my niece on our annual "ghost tour" walk which we do as a special thing together in the summer. We heard the ghost stories that shroud very old graveyards. And there are so many questions - about the lives and the afterlife. In a way I am striving for answers, which I think is human instinct. In another way, I am really really glad that we don't. Curiousity killed the cat. I'd hate to know more of those people's lives only to feel their heartbreak more acutely. Those mysteries of the past are great to just let be. Lost in the sands of time - just where the past ought to be.

Anyway, I'm rambling because this triggered some thoughts I had today.


You aren't rambling, and surely that's the point of a good comment, for which I thankyou! And I'm glad you saw this post given our grave quips last week :P

I accidentally saw a psychic healer that mentioned a past life to me - very cursorily, thank goodness, or I would have stopped her. I wanted to believe - I think it's human nature to - but then again, mysteries are what makes our lives what they are too. Those sands of time - we can't hold sand at all, and nor should we. Except - - except I really want to know whether that woman fell off a cliff or not! There's nothing else there! What did she die of? Tell me now!!!


Haha, this is a good continuation of our grave discussion.

Ooooo, past life stuff. That is something I'd like to hear about, but I wonder if I can tell them that I don't want to hear the future - just the past. Lol.

Can't blame you. Ah, the mysteries...


You've been visited by @thistle-rock from Homesteaders Co-op.

Goosebumps! I have always been fascinated by cemeteries, I suppose having been brought up in Scotland may have something to do with that, all the old cemeteries always had fascinating and haunting stories! Like you, I wonder what my gravestone would read... certainly not "her house was always clean", lol... I would much rather something along the lines of "she attempted to look after the earth, care for all lifeforms, and lived with compassion and a soft heart"... I hope I live up to that.... but, then again, like you, I would much rather remain anonymous!

Beautiful pictures and beautiful view, a wonderful place for a cemetery!


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Homesteaders Co-op

A community marketplace of ethical, handmade and sustainable products available for STEEM, SBD (and USD): https://homesteaderscoop.com/

follow: @homesteaderscoop


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