Photo by Jorge on his trip to Lithuania
Jorge is a strange character. His usual reaction to death or the announcement of someone's death is a super-tactful, "Sh*t happens." Apologies for the expression. I'm quoting very literally. I say, super-tactful, because he has been known to insert some black humour at that point, unless checked. I've always believed that this is because he has no earthly clue how to deal with the subject. Emotion of any sort in himself or anyone else makes him incredibly uncomfortable.
This morning, he called an elderly spinster who apparently knew him and his family when he was just a tiny tot here, before they moved to South Africa. She also knows the Lithuanian lot well. The lady, Irene, was talking about another lady (I forget their connection) who is recently widowed and having a hard time adjusting. She's 70 and her husband was 75. This got Jorge talking about death and then, graves. He has this dream of returning to Lithuania to buy the land his grandfather owned.
This was different. He now wants to find out exactly where his grandfather was buried here in Brazil, so that he can take a handful of soil from his grave to his grandmother's grave in Lithuania. He then wants to renovate her grave because it has been neglected. Those who know Jorge, will know that this is really strange talk from him. He never met his grandparents. In fact, he only recently met his aunt for the first time, his uncle having passed on before he made it to Lithuania.
We have never, as a family, given much credence to burial places. I believe that the grave is empty. It is merely a symbol... a marker. The spirit of the person lives on in our hearts and lives. A meaningful tribute, to me, would be to plant a tree or something in their memory. Jorge is about as unsentimental as they come, so this kind of talk had us wondering if he was feeling... uh... well. Is my husband getting sentimental in his old age? He is, you know... in many ways. Then there are days when he totally blows that 'persona'. Confusing guy....