Monday, 1 November 2010

All Saints' Day

Today is All Saints' Day. Here in the UK it is not celebrated as it is in Poland. In Poland it is a proper holiday - you don't go to work, almost all shops are closed (except petrol stations but you can hardly buy a decent bread over there) and there are two places you must visit: church and cemetery. Ever since my grandmothers and grandfathers died, I look at this day differently. Before I was carefree and careless going to the local cemetery with Mother and lighting a candles on the graves of her friends and cousins. Sometimes we went to the Mother's birth place to visit an uncle and light some candles in the cemetery where Mother's family is buried - grandparents and cousins she has never met, because they were executed by the Nazis. But now for me this day is sad and I am no longer carefree. I remember my grandparents, all the fun memories and even those bad ones. And I wish I'd known them better and could talk to them just this once. It is a day when you pause for the minute and think about your existence and about loved ones, who are no longer here.

Because here in the UK this is a normal day, Boyfriend went to work and the only replacement of the tradition was that yesterday we went to visit a local cemetery. I was very surprised, because it is very neglected. It is still a beautiful place - full of mossed graves (people buried there are from the beginnings of XX century), mixture of autumn yellow and red leaves and two (!) old churches in the middle. In Poland, because this day and tomorrow (when people remember those who died) is a celebrated tradition the cemeteries are kept (or are trying to be kept) in a well state. Everyone is cleaning the graves and there are often collections and fund-rising events for the looking after the cemeteries. I still remember that in the school we were going to different cemetery each year and trying to tidy up some of the worst neglected graves at this time of year. I've checked on-line and the cemetery we went to yesterday actually has a fund for such activities, but apparently there is a lack of hands and people's free time to put it into a good use. It's a shame, because some of the buried there are RAF and Marine soldiers who died in the First and Second World War. I wish people remember those, who died, so we can now have our freedom.


  1. Dla mnie teraz też jest to smutny czas, czas zadumy i refleksji. 2 lata temu zmarła moja prababcia.

  2. In France Monday was a holiday. On Sunday we visited the cemetery with my husband's Grandmother.
    Your right, these cemeteries should be better taken care of, it's sad.


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