14 January 2012

Too Poor for Dignity?

You're probably wondering about that title, eh?

My husband and I are volunteer photographers for the website Find-a-Grave. People send requests for photographs of markers for the graves of relatives as they are working on their family trees. Maybe they live too far away to visit the grave themselves, or are too sick to go, so they need someone to send them pictures. I love doing this!

Anyway, it was on one of these photographic adventures that I saw something on a marker that made me wonder what it meant. Under the person's name, it said "County". Being the me that I am, I at first thought the person's surname was "County". My husband wondered if perhaps it meant that the county buried them. I saw this on what I assume was an adult grave.

Today, I saw it on the graves of two babies. This made me livid!

I know that sometimes people are too poor to afford to be buried and the county has to do it because, well, you can't just leave a corpse lying around just any old place. But just because they are too poor to afford to do this own their own, that somehow makes them less of a person and up for public embarrassment? I don't think so.

OK, so the county had to bury them, but can't they just do it with dignity, without what may as well be a big, flashing neon sign pointing out to the rest of the world that they were paupers?

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