Sunday 19 September 2021

Nerd Church - Climbing A Mountain To My Grandparents' Grave


(Warning: this post deals with themes of death, grief, and graveyards)

Climbing A Mountain To My Grandparents' Grave

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

We park the car down the street, and walk past rows of houses to the cemetery.

We enter through a gate and a set of stone steps made over a hundred years ago for people with feet as small as mine.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

The older graves, from the late 1800s, are at the bottom - the newer the grave, the higher up you must go to reach it.

My grandparents' grave is in the highest row - the last row before the fence, marking where the cemetery ends and the farmer's land begins.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

Up and up and up again.

The path goes on beyond where it seems to end - another level up again. 

I look back to make sure this is the right way. My dad nods, motions - on and up.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

I stop to catch my breath a few times, and look down to my parents, stopping to catch theirs below and behind me.

I only notice the ache in my legs when I stop to rest. 

So I try to keep going, forward momentum driving me - always onwards, always upwards.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

When I reach the end, the start, of the last, top, level, I slow on jelly legs.

My head is pounding with pain. 

The headache I thought I lost yesterday has found me, and is angry at its desertion.

I look across the valley to the opposite mountain, which seems to slide sideways, moving towards me.

The entire mountain, sliding, along with the clouds above it, as if on a rail.

My head is pounding and probably worse than I thought. 

My headache can move mountains.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

And we find them, midway along this highest row, reaching their temporary marker - you have to wait for the ground to stop shifting after the burial, you see, before you can put a proper stone there. 

Otherwise it will sink into the mountain quicker than usual. 

Everything sinks eventually; the mountains have been gutted by generations of mining. But the subsidence is less, if you let the new-dug ground settle.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

And we leave some flowers, and breathe a moment. 

Look around at a grave a little space away. tied with 'Happy Birthday' balloons, and a helium number that's under 10.

We turn to descend, passing a headstone carved with a moon and stars on strings, marked 'baby' - a lullaby singing silently, day and night, at the top of the mountain.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

They are both there and not there, and it's an odd feeling, to think that part of them is beneath the grass.

Few members of the family are buried, but my dad's parents were Anglican and traditional, so here we are.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

Cemeteries have never bothered me - never made me think of hauntings or restless spirits.

They are peaceful places, on the whole. Time capsules and nature havens. Beautiful in a variety of ways.

And the view from the top is incredible, even when it's not defying physics and sliding along.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

When my parents stop to argue about which paths we should take on the climb down, I have to laugh.

Because my Grampa would have loved this conversation - thinking through all the different options and routes.

I climb a mountain to my grandparents' grave.

We take a circuitous route down, so that my father can visit his own grandparents' grave, three or four levels down, on the other side to the path we climbed up.

We try to control our descent, but the steepness of the path is such that we struggle on tip-toe steps, trying to slow the thump of feet of concrete.

The road down is almost vertical in places.

We climb down from our losses.

So this was... a little different? I literally made this climb a few days ago, and this post just kind of... happened.

Let me know what you think! 😊💬

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

Previous Nerd Church Posts:

Sharing and commenting is always appreciated!

← Previous Post


  1. This was beautiful, Cee. I thought the details you provided about younger graves was very saddening, but also I loved the way you wrote about them. That balloon.. damn that's sad. Anyways, you're such a gifted writer, and I'm glad you could find something to come out of what I'm sure isn't always a happy trek.

    1. Thank you so much Em <3 <3 <3

      Yeah, the kids' graves were pretty heartbreaking, all in all.

      I can't say that's it's happy or unhappy, really - very mixed, all in all. But then, it all still feels kinda odd, so I guess I'm still trying to get my head around Nan not being here. <3

  2. Sad but also a lovely piece of writing. I'm sorry for your loss *hugs* 💙


Comments? I love comments! Talk to me nerdlets!