Friday, January 13, 2012

A Village I Could Live In For Eternity

The last full day we were in Cozumel, we went to the cemetery. We have visited it before, more than once, but not on any of our more recent trips and we wanted to go and so we scooted down to where we thought it was, and yes, it was right there, behind the Mega Market, which is Mega indeed and has coffee shops and sandwich shops and deli's and escalators which your cart can ride up on and under-the-building parking and you can buy anything in the world there. Almost.

And it is quite a contrast to the cemetery behind it, which I can only imagine is old.

The Cozumelians bury their dead in mausoleums which look a great deal like small houses and the cemetery itself resembles nothing more than a village of the dead with streets and avenues.

It is impossible not to be moved in this place.

As in any village, there are the rich sections and there are the poor. There are the sections of town which are kept up nicely

and those which are tended sporadically.

There are those whose property is large and those whose property is small. There is tasteful

and there is joyful.

There is, in short, places for the wealthy to be laid to rest and places for those less so.

One mausoleum has a beautiful statue of the woman whose body lays inside.

Another has these.

There is one section which is...well, I can't explain it and it may be where the babies and children are placed when they die. I did not have the heart to truly explore, but took pictures in the bright sun of what lay before me.

The biggest iguana I think I've ever seen was sunning himself on a wall. I tried not to think of possible explanations except for the one of the fact that perhaps he is very, very old.

It is common to see offerings of drink and food and of course, flowers, left for the dead.

And candles, of course.

It is a place of great stillness and beauty and of sadness and of stories of those who have gone on and how much they will be missed.

But the one which always makes me cry is this one.

Yes, it is beautiful and that stonework is very representational of how walls and even sidewalks are sometimes built in Mexico and it is tended lovingly but it is what is written there which is what makes me cry.

Can you read it?

Mary Margaret Langs
"My Katrina"
Born March 13, 1916, USA
Died March 30, 1978 Casa San Miguel
Cozumel-The Island She Loved

Sweet Mary
Beloved Wife, Cherished Mother
And Grandmother She Rests
In Eternal Peace. Her Greatness
And Beauty Of Spirit Will Be Forever
Remembered In Our Hearts.

Her husband is buried with her and whenever I read that part about her dying in Cozumel, the island she loved, I choke up.
I understand.
I am so glad that she is resting there in that place where the water surrounds her beautiful island. Where there is a well with a device to lower a bucket to water the bushes planted in front of her grave instead of a spigot.

I am not depressed tonight. I have had a good day. I am just thinking of that island I love. I am thinking about how, when I die, I would love so much for my family to take some of my ashes to Cozumel, to go to that cemetery and let part of me rest there forever, ground into the dirt or blown about the little streets of the village of the dead so that just as Cozumel is always in my heart, I will always be part of it.
Just that.
That a simple physical part of me will remain there forever.

Take note, dear family. Take note. And when it happens- make it WONDERFUL! Make it a party. Drink rum and light candles for me somewhere. The little ones you can buy at Sedena Grocery Store down on the waterfront by the military base. The ones that look like the one you see at the top of the post. They are perfumed. Pick up some dish towels while you are there. They sell the best ones. They also sell rum and limes. Everything you will need. Chocoritas too for a sweet snack.

And spend a lot of time looking at that water which gave me (gives me) so much joy and let it give your hearts peace as it gives mine.


Love...Your Mama Who Hopes To Live A Very Long Time And Who Hopes To Go To Cozumel With You All While I Am Still Alive.


  1. I love that you've done this. Made this will and testament -- I can tell you that if you die before me, I will go along to that party. If not, well, I'll see you when you get there.

  2. okay, so it's not a permanent move,
    or is it?


    and I'm working on my husband to go there soon ;)

  3. I think you could buy a little property there and go more often and rent it to all your readers to pay for it :)

  4. These are great pictures Mary. Maybe the baby ones are the really really poor people ones?

  5. I don't want you to die....ever!!

  6. Totally off topic here, but there is no way in hell I'll have my lines 100% by the next rehearsal. I'm coming close, but not that close yet.
    So don't worry if you're not ready, because I sure won't.

  7. Elizabeth- I felt that way. As if this was my last will and testament. Whatever else happens, just sprinkle some of me in that graveyard. And then party.

    Deb- GO! Your husband will reap many benefits. I swear to god.

    Rubye Jack- Yes. That too.

    Jen- Thank-you! I just kept hitting that button. And there you are.

    A- It is. I swear.

    Jo- Nah. Because then we would be responsible for upkeep.

    liv- Honey, we're all going to die. It's okay.

    Jon- Shut up! Me too!

  8. Another beautiful post, Ms. Moon. I hope that you get everything that you wish for in this post. Have a lovely weekend.

  9. I love what they do with their dead....that's what made me go to Mexico for the day of the dead all those years ago....where I met the American, married the American, moved to America.....and started a whole new adventure.....!!

  10. Beautiful photos. I can understand your need to not explore the area where the children are buried; it always breaks my heart to see headstones of the small.

  11. I haven't commented here before but I've been keeping an eye on your blog, and I really liked this entry. The photos are terrific and I love the idea that you identified with this place so much you'd like to leave part of yourself there. (It reminds me a bit of the cemetery in Key West.) Beautiful!

  12. The babies that are laid to rest always move me. Little angels and lambs are generally on the tomb stones. So sad. I will have part of my ashes buried at the family plot in Virginia and part here on this island and part on the island near where I anchor my boat so often.

  13. I love re=discovering your blog, and I love all your posts about the place that I too, love, and have come to call home.

    There's an even bigger cemetery out of town, that one is full, and I promise to take you next visit.

  14. My little village in Belize has a similar cemetery though there are no grand shrines - only smaller ones. I will have to go through some day.

    I have asked my children to take a few of my ashes when they go on trips so I can see the world. I don't know if they'll do that. But they might. Maybe they think it's morbid.

  15. attending my friend's funeral last week, i wanted to come home and post about what i wanted my send off to be like, where i wanted my ashes scattered and the songs i wanted sung but then i didn't, and so to see this post from you, i find it thrilling and wise and brave and true, all the things you are. you inspire me.

  16. Mr. Shife- I LOVE your movie! Thanks for your good wishes. As always. Kiss those babies for an old Aunt Grandma.

    Young At Heart- So from a celebration for the dead, new life eventually came to be. I love that.

    Bobbie Leigh- I read a few of the things written there and they broke my heart.

    Steve Reed- Thanks for commenting! Those photos- well, the light was such that I truly did just aim and shoot. So it was luck and it was what I was aiming at. Yes. Like Key West. But Mexican.

    Syd- There is comfort in these thoughts.

    Cozzie Laura- I'm holding you to that one! Where is the bigger cemetery?

    Jeannie- I ain't afraid of thinking about my death. I know for certain it will happen. I hope my kids are okay with it, though. I hope they go to Cozumel to celebrate my life.

    Angella- You. I adore you.

  17. Ok, we'll make it happen.

    XXX Beth


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