Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | By: Brianna

Cemetery Walk

Q:  Do you believe in foreshadowing in life?

A:  Foreshadowing as in something happens that hints at something else happening later in the piece of literature/movie/comic book/etc.?  But in life?  Foreshadowing in life.  As in something happening within life that hints at something similar or related happening later in life.

Q:  Yeah, that.  Do you believe in that?

A:  I think that's called "coincidence" when it happens in real life, although many people mistake that for "irony."  Which is an honest mistake, I do it all the time, so I'm not holding it against anyone.  Or maybe not coincidence at

In life, foreshadowing could also be called an "omen," of which there are good and bad varieties.  If you believe in omens, you might also be a fan of superstitions (which I can't spell, so thank you Google Chrome for helping me with that one).  There are very few times when I find myself thinking "Oh, that's a bad omen," and a lot more times when I thought in retrospect that "Hey, that must have been foreshadowing."  I only ever notice it in retrospect.  Kind of like knowing the general ending of a book and being able to point out things that foreshadow the ending or some mystery that you're not supposed to know about a book until you've read it through at least once.  That's my experience with Jane Eyre.

Today I went walking in the cemetery.  For the first time.  I'm fortunate enough that none of my closest family members have been relocated to the cemetery, so I'm not really obligated to go there for any specific reasons.  But today I thought I would take a walk there.  When I first walked into the cemetery, I felt like I shouldn't be there.  I don't have anyone to visit, so why should I be there?  I kept seeing zombies and ghosts and vampires rising up in the 10:30 AM sun within the confines of my imagination, but I knew that couldn't be right...I was just worried that I would disturb legitimate mourners.  I read people's names and their dates, and I discovered that the headstones in the section for the nursing home people had the month and days whereas the ones in the regular section of the cemetery just had the years.  I righted some flowers and made sure that I didn't step on anybody, but that necessitated my stepping on their headstones.

There were statues that were just part of the general cemetery, like the statue of St. Francis of Assisi which was close to the gate I entered by; and then there were statues for families.  There was one statue of an angel holding lilies, but her other hand was gone, as were her wings.  It was almost as if earth wanted her grounded to keep that family safe.  The loss of wings or partial wings seemed to be the case for a lot of the angels I saw.  A lot of the headstones had Polish writing on them, but they probably shared the theme of the headstones written in English because everyone was someone's "beloved ________".

I was just thinking about how I should bring a watering can the next time I walked in the cemetery to water the living plants when I found an empty milk jug hanging from a makeshift hook in a tree.  Luckily, it was right across the road from a water spigot.  So in an effort to honor the departed, I watered a couple plants for those who were nearby.

Here's where the foreshadowing/coincidence comes in.  When I was on my way home, I was just nearing a street corner when I saw a car drive through the stop sign with its hazard lights on.  That car was followed by a hearse which was followed by a line of cars with the orange funeral flags on them and their hazard lights blinking.  Foreshadowing or coincidence?  Or is it an omen?  Whatever it was, "eerie" is what I would call it.  

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery.  You can't do any business from there."
- Colonel Harlan Sanders


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