Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day: A Haunting Beauty

I visit the dead on a regular basis. My dead loved ones and relatives, and the people who's headstones that captivate me in one way or another. These were all real people at one time and I feel are beings existing still. Anastasia is one of these real people that have passed on that captivate me.

I was visiting my great grandmother, of whom I never met in real life. But, I do know enough about her to have a connection. It was at that cemetery where Anastasia caught my, well, my brother's eye. Her laser-etched image scared the deuce biscuits outta him. We were about 70 yards away and he thought he saw a ghost. I decided to get a closer look at his would be ghost and this is what I saw. She was only 17 and died last year. That is sad. Whomever she left behind must have loved her a lot.

I wonder what kind of life this beautiful young woman had going for her. What kind of student was she in high school? She was, no doubt, a senior when she died. What kind of boys did she like and how did they treat her? What was her family like? How are her parents and family dealing with this loss? How did she die? What is this girl's story? I think about these things when I look at monuments, some ornate like this one, some not so ornate or detailed. This I know, she is still someone's valentine. Someone is still holding a torch for her. I wonder if that guy/girl will ever get over her? That I don't know and is the story that most fascinates me.

Happy Valentine's, Gruntonians. I'd give you all a big hug and a kiss if I could, but that would require compromise in some cases, broken hearts in others, husbands killing me in most, and mutual "Eh, 's'alright dude. High five?" 's. Will a game of Twister suffice?

(Note: I took this with my camera phone. It is lo-fi, but you can tell how polished the stone is by how it caught my reflection. I took many more photos, but they aren't for this post. Some other time, perhaps.)


Scary Monster said...

Didn't it feel spooky taking the picture of a headstone of a person you don't know and have never met??? That would freak me out a bit. Me likes cemetaries, but me has never photographed anything while in one. Hope Anastasia was vain and enjoyed having her picture taken.

logo™ said...

S'alright dude, high five?

I wonder what happened to her, so young to die.

Happy Wenesday, Grunty, me love you long time.

Karyn said...

I'm with you; cemetaries are captivating places, full of stories. I like that you did this.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, Grunt. I suck at Twister. Accept a virtual hug?

Barbarian02003 said...

In Kentucky there is a headstone for a young man that died at the age of 19 in 1975. His headstone is beautiful, it has hand carved plants going along the sides and top. The leaves of this plant are so detailed it must have taken weeks to do. A picture of the boy lies in the middle of this viney headstone. My uncle showed it to me when we buried my grandfather. It wasn't until I looked closer that I found why my uncle was grinning. The gorgeous plant that hung from the marble was pot. Yep, painstakingly carved pot leaves covered this headstone. Now that's love, folks.

Sun Follower said...

Only 17, very sad. Your ghostly image in the stone is a lil' eerie.... HVD.

Melliferous Pants said...

Fourteen years ago I lost a dear friend during our senior year in high school. Whenever I'm in the area I pop by and hang out with her. Though it had been years since the last time I visited, I was able to find her grave, still marked only by a pot of daisies. I took her some seashells I'd picked up at the beach the day before and told her about what my life is like now. I miss Jay.

Mayden's Voyage said...

Google her name (you probably did this and I'm being a pest- sorry)
I wondered if an article or an obit might come up about her.

I almost never go into a graveyard- and I don't think I'll be buried in one...but when I am there- my mind goes into overdrive about the people whose tombstones I read.
I almost have a sensory overload.

Happy Valentines Day to you Grunt- be checking your mail...
I send a cyber hug :)

The Grunt said...

SM~ Yes, this type of headstone is kind of spooky. The reason I took this one was that it made my brother kind of go "Ahhhhhh!", because he thought it was a ghost. I had a lot of ethical questions going on in my head, but then figured that her family was proud of her and wanted the world to see their beautiful daughter. Yes, I will probably be haunted now.

Logo~ I like being loved long time five dolla. Your husband would kill me if I weren't joking, and I know he is more than capable.

Karn~ Yes, I love virtual hugs! Graveyards are interesting. I don't find them scary at all.

Barbarian~ That is a cool story. I don't know what I will have on my headstone.

Sun~ Yah, I hope it isn't fateful.

Pants~ It is tough losing friends, especially in your teens. Hugs of the virtual kind to you.

Cora~ I will try that. Oh boy, virtual hug fest!

vera said...

When I go to the UK in Mar/Apr I am going to take long walks in the cemetaries there with my Nikon...
I, too, wonder about the people who's headstones, crypts, epitaphs and etchings really represent the people they truly were...

Outdoorsy Girl said...

It certainly is haunting. I can see what you meant by her stare following you. I can see your reflection off to the side and no doubt when you took the pic, it seemed she was staring you down, yet when I see her picture, she appears to be staring right at me, too. You can't escape that haunting stare.

I have seen a few of these types of headstones before and almost as eerie are the life-size sculpture monuments. In Savannah, there is a life-size, made in her exact image statue of a seven year old girl sitting upon her grave. Her name is Gracie Watson and "little Gracie" is the most visited grave in Savannah. In Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery, there is a life-like statue of an elderly man sitting upon his mausoleum. It was his wish to be able to watch everyone who passes through the gates. He's a little creepy.

Outdoorsy Girl said...

Oh yeah...and I almost forgot...Happy Valentines Day. :)

Jules said...

Twister sounds cool! I'll take a hug first though! Might make me feel better. I miss you!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Love Jules

Keshi said...

Im crying now!

U wrote this post with so much respect and love for someone u didn't even know. To me that is LOVE. Happy Vals Day Grunty!

I often wonder abt such ppl too, when I see haunting pics of ppl who r no more. It's sad to think that each and everyone of us build so many dreams and hopes, so many r'ships, possess alot of things in life, and then one day just die like that, leaving everything behind. So very sad. Anastacia was a very pretty girl. I wonder what she was like in this world.


Christielli said...

I like graveyards too. You just know that there are so many stories that are buried there. I live right by a huge one here in TO. (One of our former Prime Ministers is buried there.)

Hmmmm, I'll have to think about who I request as a guest on your blog. I'm thinking I want a famous Canadian...

Bugs said...

I love visiting cemetries .
Used to be a tv series from NZ called Epitaph,the host would visit cemetries and research the story behind odd epitaphs,just around the coroner:P
Great pic of a very sad subject -she's the same age as Miss Feral 17 here:(

The Grunt said...

Vera~ Will you take me with you? We can tour all of the places I lived in the Northeast together.

O-Girl~ Yeah, I've seen your cemetery photos, very fascinating. Thanks for wishing me VD!

Jules~ I hope you have a fast recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Keshi~ Thanks, I needed some luv from down under. You and Bugs got me covered.

Christielli~ Oooh! Let it be Geddy Lee. That is cool about where you live. I grew up near a cemetery. My friends and I used to go and play out in it at night. Fun stuff!

Bugs~ You are a lot like me. This is because I occupy the Northern hemisphere and need a female me to represent the Southern Hemisphere, kind of like an alternate reality inversion. Did that make any sense at all? I hope not. I like being silly.

goldennib said...

Visiting graveyards was a Sunday thing where I grew up in Austria. We would go and put flowers on the graves of relatives, clean them up and light candles. Then we would walk around and say hi to friends and neighbors and then go through the viewing ckapel if anyone happened to be on display. Dead people aren't very dead to me, I guess because of this.