01 Nov '20

Death in the margins

door Koen Demarsin
We remember our loved ones with deep respect: pictures on a cupboard, in stories, sometimes even with an urn in our homes. But it is still so very hard to come to terms with death.

When we bid farewell, we also bid farewell to a bodily form that becomes meaningless to those who are left behind. We don’t know how deal with the phenomenon. Living with death does not fit in very well with present-day reality, where clarity and utility are the order of the day. Anything that cannot apparently serve an immediate purpose in our daily lives tends to be overlooked, while anything that is overlooked, we relegate to the margins. In the light of this marginal destiny, it is no wonder there are so many cemeteries to be found in the outskirts of Brussels.

They are sometimes located in the midst of an idyllic spot near a forest or a place where only a stream separates the cemetery from the fields, but they often also situated in neglected or unexploitable areas, squeezed between railway tracks or below an airport take-off route.