Pet Burial Ground, Aruba

There is a Pet Burial Ground near the southern tip of Aruba. It is located several hundred yards beyond Baby ┬áBeach. There you’ll find makeshift wooden crosses, small piles of rocks, and even elaborate grave markers, all erected by loving owners for their dearly departed friends. I made this video, which shows the general area and some details, too.

Of course, all pet owners understand the sense of loss and bereavement that occurs when a pet passes. What I like most about this place is the personal nature of each marker. These aren’t things created by professionals, but rather individual works that reveal as much about the owner as they do about the pet.

If you happen to come to Baby Beach or are just out for a drive on the island, stop by this area. It is a poignant reminder that we’re not alone on this planet, that our pets enrich our lives every day, even after they pass into the next world. And always be kind to animals.

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Aruba Cemeteries

There are many cemeteries in Aruba that feature excellent statuary, fascinating crypts, and haunting images. During my extended stays on the island, I typically take a few strolls through a cemetery or two like the one shown below.

If nothing else, a trip to the cemetery reminds us that no one lives forever. Best to get those things done you’d like to while you’re still alive. Sounds like a cliche, but it’s true.

Published in: on October 10, 2008 at 2:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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Details from the Cemetery

My writing is heavy on details. I put my words together with a fine brush, filling in all the nooks and crannies. (My editor constantly reminds me not to tell EVERYTHING.) This is a strange phenomenon for me because when I was heavy into photography, my images were large, sweeping vistas taken with wide angle lenses. This may go back to film school, where they taught me always to have an establishing shot to place the viewer in the location. Then, go in close for the minutia that is relevant to the story. Well, here in Aruba, I came across this old cemetery, which as the sign says, was for Jewish Portuguese people. Have a look.

The place is quite old by any standard, especially for the Caribbean whose history is often swept away by hurricanes and changes in government. By my count, there were only seven graves inside the walls. The largest one in the rear features a Divi tree growing up through it.

However, the detail that struck me most was among the arch-covered graves in the center row. It’s the small one on the right. Someone’s child didn’t survive and ended up here next to his elders. Wow, that’s all the detail I need to make this place interesting and the stuff of a story. Of course, graveyards are a no-brainer, and not just for mysteries. You’ll find all kinds of things that represent both the living and the dead, the beliefs or lack there-of held by those interred as well as the visitors still alive.

It strikes me when I see people leaving things behind for those who’ve passed away. I suppose it’s a soothing notion, a comfort to remember and contemplate. It must be part of the human condition because the activity goes back into pre-history. Certainly the Egyptians reached an all-time high with their temples to the dead that were staffed by priests and kept flourishing for years after a Pharaoh or other significant person died. Then again, details can be striking and a single person with a single flower is more powerful than a priestly retinue in a smoky temple. At least, in my way of telling stories it is.

Published in: on August 10, 2008 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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