Have A Grave In Front Of Your House

If I told you that I had a dead body buried in my driveway you probably wouldn’t believe me. Well, I didn’t believe it at first either. It slowly dawned on me that it was probably true as I leant on the kitchen sink in my uni halls and my mother’s voice trilled through my mobile phone. It’s not your usual Thursday morning phone call and it’s certainly not one I will forget, not least because it was the death of a neighbour who my family were very close to. She was a lovely lady who suffered from MS and it got so bad that she was confined to a wheelchair, left with only the use of her left arm. It was no life, but she never moaned. (Unlike my own grandmother who spends her life complaining about nothing and making up all kinds of ailments just to have something to talk about). Her death was quite sudden – she had a blood clot in her heart and lungs and it was very quick. I was told she wouldn’t have suffered, and that’s the most important thing.

So, the family of this lady live right behind us (it’s quite complicated unless you can see our house) and they sold our house to us, so had emotional ties to the property and surrounding land. There is an area of grass outside of our front gates – an ‘orchard’ it is sometimes called, although it only contains one apple tree. Sarah’s* family wanted her to be close by, and as there is no longer any room in the local church’s cemetery, they felt that the next best thing was the ‘orchard’. So, as I drove up the driveway from uni on Friday, on my right hand side, there was the grave, covered in flowers – far too showy for Sarah. The worst thing of all, actually, is not that there is a dead person just outside of our house, but that it’s so not what Sarah would have wanted. Where she is buried now is in full view of numerous houses. And because her grieving husband let our mad neighbour take control of the flowers, what is on top of Sarah’s grave now, is what I can only describe as My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding reborn as a flower arrangement. Tacky. I think Sarah would have wanted to be buried somewhere that had a beautiful view itself, on top of the Downs, perhaps. She was a serenely beautiful and calm lady and I just wish she was somewhere that reflected that.

Luckily, it isn’t too freaky, although my mum won’t walk up the driveway in the dark by herself anymore. It isn’t too scary because I knew Sarah well and I hope she is now in peace, free from pain. Although, I cant help but sometimes feel the heebie jeebies when I’m by myself in the house…

*Name has been changed

**Also, an interesting fact that we discovered whilst all this hullabaloo was going on, is that you can have up to two people buried in your garden. You aren’t allowed anymore than that, because once it gets above two it becomes a cemetery.