Sunday, April 19, 2015

Marilia's Graveyard

This is an early shot of Cemiterio da Saudade that was built in the outskirts of town in the mid-1920s. My grandfather Giovanni Battista Darin arrived in Marilia with his family in November 1927. Less than a year later on 20th September 1928 his brother Francesco Darin died and was buried near the main gate which shows prominently on the photo. Toni Darin's toddler Antonio Darin Filho died on 20 September 1929 and then Elisa & Rissieri Darin's only daughter Lilia Therezinha died a month later on 25 October 1929 and were all buried in the same grave near the main entrance.

Part of the Darin family was really scared of so many deaths in so short a time and decided to go back to São José do Rio Pardo where they had come from about 2 years before and the graves were left unattended.

In the 1940s the local Council (Prefeitura) built a new brick wall around the Cemetery and those graves near the entrance were either transfered or simply destroyed with the remaining bones being taken and thrown into a common grave they called 'Cruzeiro' (Crosses). At Dia-dos-Finados (All Souls' Day) on 2nd November people usually light candles near this mass-grave that burn the whole day. The grave-yard management makes sure the fire is put out before they close down at the end of the day.

Rosa Darin, Mother's sister poses at my Father's tombstone in July 1990.

I have always liked cemeteries. It all started with Cemiterio da Saudade in Marilia-SP in the 1950s. My Mother used to visit the local cemetery regularly. I wouldn't be able to say how regularly but it was more than twice a year, let's say every 4 months.

My Mother would go to her Mother's grave and say a few prayers while myself and sometimes my other brothers would be waiting on the side looking at this and that grave whiling our time away. Every time we went to the Cemetery Mother would talk about those who had already departed and she usually told nice stories about them so we grew up loving those like Grandma Erminia Billò who had died in 1934 or Mother's uncle Francesco Darin who had died in September 1928, less than a year after the Darin family had arrived in Marilia.

Even though we never met those people they were alive in our imagination. That's a good thing I learned by visiting our relative's graves at the Cemetery.

Maria Rosa Amorim, myself and Rosangela.