It tends to be one-sided. At least, that's been my experience, and to be honest, I like it that way. I think I'd be more than a bit disturbed if my father had had something to say this morning, when I went to visit him.
The graveyard is beautiful. I find most graveyards beautiful, but perhaps it's just because of the trees and the quiet. There is nothing to fear in a graveyard, even at midnight, except perhaps for rats, snakes stray dogs, or stray men (living ones).
The dead pose no threat. They return no greetings and answer no questions, and if they're happy to see their visitors and hear our voices, we can't see their smiles, not unless we shut our eyes and seek out their faces in a memory or a dream.
But we don't know for sure, do we? And we'll only find out when it's our turn to take a place under the earth. So I found myself babbling along, trying to remember all the important things I had to let Daddy know. Just in case. I felt a bit silly, talking to a tombstone - but surely it was no sillier than buying a lottery ticket, or blowing a fallen eyelash off the back of one's palm and making a wish ..
I would have sat there for hours to tell him all that I had to say, but the living were waiting for me at the gate, so I rushed through as much as I could, then left. Now I'm sitting here wondering if this is how we humans first created prayer: conversations with an unseen unreachable parent, someone who gave us strength, care and protection, who loved us in spite of what we were.
I suppose an atheist would see in this, the invention of God by a bereaved child. And a believer would think of Adam, separated from his Creator, calling out, yearning for that lost connection.
No answers, so all we have to go on is our faith, and on what we choose to believe, even if it's make-believe. And so I like to think that my father might have had something to say back to me this morning, after all. I worry that I left too soon, but I like to think that he understands, and that he'll get the message across to me anyway, in a language I'm only just learning to unlock.
Good night, everyone, wherever you are. Good night, Daddy, wherever you are.
(Edited 15 April 2014)