More and more lately I have been noticing that there seems to be very little respect for those no longer with us. This is making me mad!!
On my Graveyard Rabbit blog, Ancestors at Rest (link in the sidebar on the right), I have been adding various News Items which cover churchyards in other areas to those where I act as the Graveyard Rabbit.
These items are reporting on vandalism in churchyards; the police now being granted with Dispersal Orders to deal with anti-social behaviour in churchyards, (and that being not so far away from my part of the world) and even some hostility being shown in other churchyards because the churches cannot afford to maintain the graves, grass and so on and seemingly the local councils will not help.
Going back to the 1970s, I remember when my paternal grandfather’s funeral worked its way through the streets of London and I was very touched when along the route I noticed that quite a number of men on the pavement who saw us go by, stood still, removed their hats and bowed their heads as my grandfather’s hearse passed by them. These people did not know who he was but it was a lovely sign of respect for someone no longer with us, especially for an older gentleman who so would have appreciated their gesture.
It was always an unwritten law that any funeral procession was never overtaken by other cars and certainly never cut up by a car coming between the vehicles in the procession.
Jump to 1982 and my dear father’s funeral procession. It was not travelling as slowly as some do but suddenly some workmen in a van decided they wanted to pass ahead of us so overtook the family cars but did not quite make it in time because of a junction ahead, so had to cut in and they chose to cut in between our main family car and my father’s hearse! I was so upset because not only was it a rude thing to do with a funeral procession, but I could no longer see my dad on his last journey. I was already devastated because we had lost my dear dad, so I did not really have my wits about me to take the name on their vehicle. I would have reported them to their bosses. I know nothing would be done, but these workmen obviously did not care in any way what they had done.
And so we move on to these days. I see many reports of vandalism in churchyards. I see several reports over time where young men urinate over graves and even over newly laid poppy wreaths for Rememberance Day. I see many signs of disrespect on the internet where news items are left open for people to comment on. For quite a while now, when it has been reported that someone well known has died, or someone not so well known, or someone has been murdered, or died in an accident, there are very few comments added passing sympathy to the family of those that have died. But there are many comments saying more or less “So what?” or comments making jokes about how the person died, or if it was a well known person, then some rude comments about that person. No-one seems to actually care that these people have died and that their families must be grieving so much.
Very recently I have seen that there was a Facebook page removed after many complaints because that page was just about people masturbating in graveyards, over graves, and showing some photos etc.. And also very recently here in the UK we had a gunman who shot (and presumably wanted to kill) his ex girlfriend because she had dumped him while he was in prison. He shot and killed her new boyfriend and then shot and has permanently blinded a policeman. Then he killed himself after about a week on the run. He did all the shooting the day after he was released from prison. Someone set up a Facebook page for the gunman, because they called him a hero and a legend!! People started laying a shrine of masses of flowers at the spot where he died and at his home, because they thought he was a hero. A man had been killed – no Facebook page for him (unless his family/friends set up a memorial page to him, which I don’t know about). A man has been permanently blinded, his life and that of his family has totally changed, but no Facebook page set up for him (unless his friends have done this now).
But the Facebook page for the gunman attracted almost 40,000 “friends” who agreed he was a legend, a hero, and that he did the right thing because his girlfriend chose to no longer be with him and several even commented on how it was a shame the policeman did not die!!!!! I can’t believe this. What are we coming to? It means that there are at least 40,000 people who would happily go out and kill a partner if they get jilted!! And they think this is right!!?
None of these people had any sympathy for the man that died nor for the others that were shot.
I’m now thinking that it’s really not going to be very long until the time when Auntie Florrie dies and her family think “So what?” and then just shove her in a black bin liner and dump her at the local rubbish tip!!!!!