Everything changed the day I found my name and birthdate on the gravestone. As I stared at the marker, I could feel the bile rise from my stomach. Everyone knew I came to this cemetery to take photos for my photography profile. But who would go to this extent to put my name, birthdate and what would be my death date? The gravestone was even weathered to match those around it.
Everyone knew my final capstone project was about cemeteries and gravestones. I don’t know why or when I had become fascinated with everything that lies in cemeteries, but here I was. Maybe it was partially my obsession with what would happen in the afterlife.
I hadn’t been very old when my grandfather had died and even though I was only seven when he had a heart attack, we had been close. I had had dreams for years of my grandfather and I could never tell what he was doing or where he was. I desperately wanted to join him on his journeys, but I didn’t know how. Part of my fascination with cemeteries was because I wanted to know how to get there.
The more people and the more church services I attended, the more confused I became. Cemeteries were the only way I could calm my confusion about the afterlife. Until today, when I found my own gravestone. Now, at least, I knew when I would die. Just not how. Unless it had to do with my grandfather.