Friday, July 07, 2017

Taphophilia - an affliction found in graveyards.



Do you suffer from TAPHOPHILIA? 
I know I do. I caught it from my Dad when I was a young child.
Perhaps you have also been struck down by it. Don't know, then ask yourself:
“Do you love to roam through cemeteries when you're on holiday? If so, there's a word for what you've got: "taphophilia", a love of graves and the rituals of death.
Taphophiles, also known as "gravers", are the people who pore over epitaphs, gravestones and the history of the dead.” ***
For historians and family history researchers, epitaphs on graves read like a map to the past – connecting people, places and events. Often they tell of grief and loss, but also of emigration, incarceration, trauma and tragedy.
A few weeks ago, I wandered through the graveyard on Norfolk Island. This consecrated ground captures the history of First Fleeters, officers and guards responsible for the lives and deaths of convicts sentenced to the most diabolical penal settlement in Australia. 
The graves also recognise generation of descendants of the mutinous crew of HMS Bounty who despatched Captain Bligh to the Pacific Ocean in an open boat over 200 years ago.

Unfortunately, the main problem with "taphophilia" is that once the bug gets into your blood stream there is no cure.

*** by Fiona Pepper and Claudette Werden for ‘Blueprint for Living’ (ABC).

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