This past Monday was the All Saints Day in Poland. Although I planned on not going into a gridlocked cemetery that day, I did eventually visit my grandfathers grave site.
The Church points out that All Saints Day shouldn’t be a sad and gloomy day at all. That it should in fact be a happy day, a day when we reminisce the good times we had with the loved ones who’s grave site we’re going to visit.
I never really felt ‘happy’ at the cemetery, but I was really surprised once I got there. Thousands of people kept flowing into the cemetery at the Grabiszyńska Street. It felt like a steady river of people coming in, and no one leaving. This also reminded me just how big this cemetery was, with so many people I would have imagined it to be a more crowded inside. But it wasn’t bad at all.
People walking by or standing near grave sites didn’t seem sad. I overheard conversations such as “remember when” and “one day when we were younger” that drove home the point of remembrance and bliss. We really can’t do anything about the ones we have lost but talk about the good times we had with them and hope they’re looking upon us from a better place above.
I’m glad I visited my grandfather that day. I wasn’t the only one, candles already lit on his grave meant other family members had been there as well. I have more distant family members laid to rest on that cemetery but I have no idea where. Grandpa’s is the only one I went to, and his is the most important one to me.
In the evening, I drove Karolina’s family to visit her grandfathers grave. The sun had set and the sea of lit candles was truly amazing. I couldn’t quite catch it with the camera, I would probably need to stay late into the night, but even on that day staying at night at a cemetery just didn’t sit well with me.