Friday, 30 August 2013

For Baby John Gobbin and His Parents

Please click on the photo in order to enlarge

If the photograph, above, isn't clear, then let me explain what it's about. You are looking at a grave located in the burial yard of Gooderstone Church, Norfolk. It commemorates John and Mary Gobbin, who died in the early years of the twentieth century, aged 78 and 83, respectively. However, there is an additional name inscribed on this gravestone. It is another 'John Gobbin' who died - presumably in the mid-1800s - after only three days. If you look carefully, you'll notice something else. Placed carefully in front of the stone is a white rose. 

It was placed by us in memory of the pain of loss experienced by the Gobbins family, and as a tribute to the brief life of baby John. Just because these lives have now passed beyond living memory doesn't mean that we shouldn't empathise and care across the years. We do. So, draped in a warm caress of late August sunshine we laid this flower down and thought for a while about these long-departed strangers who we now drew into our hearts. 

3 comments:

  1. Awww....!

    There's a stone on the side of St Stephen's church in Norwich (the outside). In very fine 18th century calligraphy it lists the numerous children of the couple - everyone of which died in infancy or childhood, over a few years. Heartbreaking.

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  2. I like old cemeteries; if I'm with easily bored friends I'm often led out.
    I am drawn to the tiniest graves; marked with no name but Baby.
    I have been in a poor local cemetery where the tiny graves were marked with cinder blocks--and fresh flowers. Not forgotten.

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