Written In Stone ≠ Forever
In the Church of Ireland cemetery in Kilrush, many of the headstones appear to be of local Liscannor stone, a lovely, dark and grooved stone. I am familiar with its use for hearths and paving. My graveyard rambles have not extended often to County Clare so I cannot recall seeing many headstones using this stone. Its proximity and availability most probably accounts for the number encountered last Sunday.
The main purpose of my visit was to view the Famine Memorial and shortly after, I stopped.
Initially it looked like pieces of stone were dumped on top of a flat headstone. More investigation suggested that a layer of the stone had delaminated. In doing so, the thin layer had broken into many pieces.
Jigsaws were me growing up. They allowed escape from participation and conversation.
I would so love the time and permission to assemble the stones – to ensure that the headstone is read, even for just one more time.
‘The surface of this headstone is breaking up into large, thin flakes, peeling away and exposing the softer layer beneath. In the damp fissure between the two, black mould has found lodging. The texture of the spalling stone is so unusual that I can’t resist reaching out and touching it lightly with my fingertips, and to my horror the phrase Loving Memory falls off in one piece onto the grass.
‘There are three deaths. The first when the body ceases to function. The second when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time’
I read this quote first on a tweet by Louvain Rees . The book has been purchased and well thumbed. The quote more than once used in cards of sympathy. It also made it into the Examiner for my mother’s anniversary message. The quote definitely hit a home here….