One of the few headstones that is made of actual stone, is shown above. My gut told me that the left part of the stone was missing. Later, I checked www.findagrave.com and found that someone had photographed this and all the grave markers in this cemetery in 2009. The information which was once clear on the headstone is recorded with full clarity on the website.
This is where Edward West was laid to rest. He was born July 2, 1866 and died November 12, 1902. His father was born in Massachusetts and was married to a woman from Ireland, according to a census record.
Behind Edward are rows of poor people, who are known only by their names, death dates. Some are completely unknown, on all accounts. The span of time runs from the 1930’s to the 1950’s.
In the rows of redwood markers, is one individual, whose family found him.
As they laid him to rest, he was unknown to the world, in every way.
This wrenched at my heart, imagining how it would feel to find one’s father here, in an unmarked, unknown grave.
Just reading it now, chokes me up. For me, it proves that we are all one, all connected.
I wonder how so many people can be lost. Perhaps a name misspelled,
a loner, a person seeking fortune, a wilderness lover, an Indian, an illness – the possibilities limitless.
Most of the grave markers are at one end of the Cemetery.
There is a large area in front of Edward West, and only one stone marker.
On this visit, I notice something new –
two of the UNKNOWN markers had new names primitively scratched on to them.
I hope this isn’t an act of vandalism or a joke.
The fact that someone took the time to scratch out the word UNKNOWN in both cases,
leads me to believe that it is not a hoax.
Regardless, it does not diminish the fact that there are people in the world who die alone, unknown.
I have to wonder if there aren’t more people here, without grave markers.
Perhaps I will research further.
The cemetery is on a knoll, with scraggly old conifers.
Time waits for no one.
- Never Forget (bellaremyphotography.wordpress.com)
- Bluffs police seek help in solving mystery of baby’s grave marker (omaha.com)