Saturday, October 22, 2016

The church at Halkyn

Today, I was in Halkyn, North Wales where my mother's ashes were to be buried. Though it was hard to part with her, I laid her casket in the hole dug for it. Yes, I did this myself, picking up and carrying the casket from the altar where the service was read to the graveside and lowered it gently into the grave. Yes, it was hard and I had to hold back tears to do it. In a way it was a way of returning my mother to her ancestral home where she may lie for all eternity amongst her family.

She did not have an individual grave. She had requested to be placed beside her father whose ashes were interred in her grandfather's grave. The graveyard was beside a beautiful 19th century church on a hill, overlooking a beautiful estuary.
The church was built in the 19th century in an older style. It's quite small but very impressive inside with very modern sound systems etc. The church had the odd effect of making me happy. It was even equipped with a flush toilet which was rather unusual. Whether the toilet then emptied into a cess pit into which less favored residents of the graveyard are tossed is unknown.
The stained glass windows were as impressive as my secondhand Olympus E-PM1 was at taking pictures of them. I must say that little camera is very impressive. I have to say that it is still in iAuto mode. There's nothing that it hasn't done well so far.
Outside, the church at Halkyn is clearly neo gothic with a tower. In the past, churches with towers were built as defenses for villages should roaming bands of brigands from the Viking lands come through. Most churches now have steeples rather than tower fortifications.
As can be seen here, the view from the church is spectacular. I've not looked at the area on the map but I am impressed. I had very much a feeling of peace, tranquility and happiness when I was here. I'm hoping my mother is now resting in peace.

A job for another day will be to erect a tombstone and to take a photograph of the grave. I did not take a photograph today because the grave was opened before we arrived and because aside from a few handfuls of dirt thrown in by myself, my father and our driver (a family friend), the grave was open and my mother's casket visible. It would have been grossly disrespectful.