Just came back from walking my dogs, one of my normal tracks, up the hill, around the church and back down thru the graveyard and down the hill again. I have been doing this track nearly every morning since I moved back to the country, but this was the first time I have done it in the evening and I saw something really disturbing.
In the graveyard there was an embarrassing number of solar powered cemetery lights. I knew there were some in this graveyard I walk by and then thru, but I have just seen it early in the morning after they had been running all night so they are almost out of juice, a few here and there, but this time I went soon after sundown and discovered them all over this boneyard.
I am of two opinions of the dead, either you are dead and that is the end, or you have an immortal soul that is made up of the “true” you and it is no longer encased in the meat and bones of your body. Personally I hope it is the latter but it is one of these two options. (f the soul stays with your rotting, decaying cadaver, well that would be really screwed up and I would complain to management.)
So the lights are not for the dead, they are beyond caring one way or the other what happens on the plot of land that holds their corpse. So the lights are for the living, and what a mixture they are, all colors, all styles and shapes. (I will wait here while you click on this link that I found googling Cemetery Lights). Angels and crosses seem to be really popular, although I saw some flowers with fiber optics that I did not see in my brief search of lighting accouterments for the dearly departed last resting place.
Now I am not much of a graveyard person, I find them interesting for the history they represent and for a genealogical researchers resource they are probably pretty important, but besides that to me they are just a really big waste of space that could be growing veggies or something equally useless like a golf course; at least someone would be getting some use of them.
The person is dead so they don’t need a light and most times I have visited a graveside with a relative it has been in daylight hours when you can check and see if the caretaker is doing his job and mowing the grass and not chipping the headstone with the mower. If a person is going to graveyard at night it is probably a bunch of kids with a six pack of PBR or a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 wearing Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath t-shirts.
If the trend continues at the rate I have seen it will not be long before every tombstone comes with a solar panel and a computer chip that can be programmed to show any number of things on an array of light emitting diodes (LED).
I myself am not going to be buried, it is the crematorium for me, up in smoke as it were, so my daughter will not have to decide if Dad’s headstone should have the multi-colored light show with words popping up like I am writing them (If so I hope it types out knock knock jokes) or should she go with a set pattern of Dad as a cartoon caricature alternating between Disneyfication, Marvel Superheroish and Simpsonized.
Please people we have enough light pollution and cheap crap out there, keep the gardens of stone free of this kind of sentimental sensationalistic junk. Let the kids drinking cheap beer on Uncle Oscar’s grave have a little bit of privacy.