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I did some grave visitation today ahead of Allhallowtide. I’ll be busy on the actual days and I have some local graves to visit this weekend, so today seemed like a good day for the not-so-local graves. Today’s route:

What an absolutely beautiful day for a drive in the hills around Patoka Lake. The fall colors were delightful. A corner of Patoka Lake:

I mentioned recently that I’ve been thinking about my dad’s side of the family recently. I never knew them well, for reasons that are obvious from that post. Some bad stuff came through that family line and a lot of my recent spiritual practice has been working toward understanding and integrating that pain and hopefully transforming it.

It turns out that generations worth of my dad’s family are in two cemeteries: Crystal Community Cemetery and Bethany Union Chapel Cemetery. (The Find a Grave website has been invaluable, by the way.)

Four generations worth of my paternal grandfather’s side are in Crystal Community Cemetery, all the way back to my great-great-great grandfather (b. 1834) who was a private in the Union Army in the Civil War. I have a letter from him that has been passed down the generations. (It’s at the print shop being scanned right now but I’ll post a picture when I get it back.)

Three generations worth of my paternal grandmother’s side are in Bethany Union Chapel Cemetery. The oldest ancestor there was born in 1872 but there are others in nearby cemeteries which I did not have time to visit today. Another time, for sure.

When I got to Crystal Community Cemetery, I was tempted to stand in the middle of it and say, “okay, y’all, who started this shit?” But I didn’t. I did talk to them all, particularly my paternal grandfather who I know did some bad stuff. I was very honest with him about my anger about what he did to my father.

I was honest with my folks in both cemeteries, actually. But I also told them that I and my family are doing well, despite it all. Obviously I still have some things to work through (else why am I traveling miles to gripe at my dead grandpa) but, on the whole, the wounds are closing and I have decided to act in the role of healer, not victim.

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