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Archive for April 21st, 2011

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 21, 2011

Rosh Pina Cemetery

If you’ve ever been to Rosh Pina, you’ve probably wandered around the touristy renovated artists colony at the top of the hill. You may even have toured the bottom tiers of the old Rosh Pina cemetery. I climbed all the way to the top and I can say it’s quite a hike.

Rosh Pina was founded in 1882, and the oldest graves close to the crest of the hill date back to around the turn of the 20th century. The lower parts are still in use.

The first photo (above) shows some of the older grave markers. A few have been cleaned up, given a coat of whitewash, and had their inscriptions replaced. The ones that haven’t been restored are cracked, covered with lichen, with their inscriptions are barely legible.

The photo below gives you an idea of how steep the cemetery is, like climbing a flight of stairs. These graves date from the 1970s and 80s.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

The graves below date mainly from the 1930s and 40s.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Rosh Pina Cemetery

In the middle of the cemetery is this little girl’s grave marker, shaped like a bed and studded with hundreds of tiles, shells, and other objects. Her name was apparently Sylvia Rose (the name is incised in the green and red medallion at the foot of the marker below) and her nickname was “Mae Mae.” There is no other information — no family name or dates. On the side beneath the head there are two unglazed panels with a poignant eulogy inscribed in English. This marker is truly a labour of love.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Update. At Miriam’s request I’ve posted the text:

Mae Mae would lounge on a bench bathed in sunlight.
Her small hands, sticky with red sugar,
lovingly grasp a rainbow of candy.
Green eyes sparkle deep with concern,
with companionship for her earth.
Tufts of blond crown her forehead,
and a lilt rises in her voice.

How you were adored…
Our lives changed irrevocably when you left.
Richer for having been together,
yet shattered forever.
Your magic lives in our souls.
We would have traded places in an instant.
Are you busy? Happy?
Are there kittens and candy?
Do you watch over Sam?
And Nell and Kate?
You will forever fill our lives.
We miss you every day.
Until we hug each other again.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

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