In Săpânţa, Romania, there lies a very different kind of cemetery. Rather than the usual dark and ominous crypts and tombstones reminding us of our eventual demise, the Merry Cemetery chooses to remember the past lives of its residents with brightly painted tombstones and even more colorful stories about the people themselves.
The idea for the unusual crosses was started by 14 year old town resident Stan Ioan Pătraşe. By 1935, Pătraş began carving clever verse and ironic poems about the deceased, as well as painting the crosses with the deceased’s image, often depicting their manner of death.
Over 600 beautifully carved wooden crosses display the life stories, personal descriptions and final moments of almost everyone who has died in the town of Săpânţa. The illustrations show everything from soldiers being shot and beheaded to a poor soul being struck by a car.
The epitaphs reveal surprising truths and a fair amount of good humor. For example one cross reads, “Underneath this heavy cross. Lies my mother in law… Try not to wake her up. For if she comes back home. She’ll bite my head off.”
“This was my question to Sir Patrick Stewart at Comicpalooza 2013. I wanted to thank Patrick Stewart for his speech at Amnesty International it personally help me put a name to the abuse, sexual abuse in my case, I had experienced in the past. He responded very passionately and the last thing I thought I would get at was a heartfelt hug.
When he embraced me he told me “You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now”. I just kept thanking him.
I hope everyone who needs help in abusive or violent situations has the courage to do so. There are people willing and ready to help you.
This video is owned by Oswald Vinueza and full recording can be found here