It’s nearly Halloween, so I thought some photos of graveyards might be in order. In Panama the cemeteries are quite different looking from those in the States. For one thing, they are far more colorful – almost cheerful looking.
The attitude toward death is a bit different, too. Here, it is regarded more as a normal part of life and not resisted so bitterly. I have somehow managed to be on those roads that lead to cemeteries several times when someone is being sent on their way. The crowd of friends and family who walk behind the casket is always amazing to me. It seems like half the town takes that quiet, final walk with the deceased. The very old, the very young and everyone in between fill the road for a hundred yards or so. An observer hears no sound except the shuffling of feet, an occasional cough, and sometimes a bird call. The mourners seem to wear their ordinary clothes – nothing especially dressed up, no obvious preponderance of black or any other color.
I have never had the nerve to intrude on this respectful adieu to the departed and follow the mourners to the grave site, so I don’t know what rituals are performed there. It felt like doing that would be unforgivably rude.
But I did go to the cemetery when no one live was there and took some photos for you. Here they are.