While walking on the mountain Tuesday I cut through Notre-Dame-des-Neiges for awhile. The bit of forest inside that cemetery is a very cool spot for a hot day, and I didn’t see another human being in there, so this probably counts as one of those insider tips for urban places nobody knows about.
The photo above is something I saw in section M which puzzles me. Not being a journalist myself I’m not going to inquire, but I’m wondering if it’s a story. About one in ten of the markers in that area had this sign taped on them. The singled-out markers were not noticeably decrepit. The sign says the cemetery is repossessing the plot and removing the marker, but I don’t think it’s the markers that are the problem.
This is not, I think, one of the areas of temporary graves. The markers were all pretty solid stone affairs, not the home-made bricolaged ones you’ll see on the temporary field, made of wood and wire and bits of railing.
As I understand it, NDN has a very interesting take on the ownership of graves. The owner of a plot is deemed to be the person who first bought it. My family plot belongs to my great-great-grandfather, for example, and nobody can be buried there who isn’t descended from him, or married to someone who is. I know this is so because I happen to have inherited a second plot in NDN, and wanted to give it away to a friend’s family, but was not allowed to do so because they aren’t related to me.
I can’t see, given this, how or why NDN would be repossessing plots in which families have buried people and put their names on markers. Nobody asks me for ongoing payments on our family plot; it’s possible that we got one in an older section where we’re grandfathered, but I didn’t think it was usual in North America to have to keep up payments. If we want to bury someone else in the plot we have to pay, but otherwise it just sits around.
Anyone have any guesses what’s up here in section M?