Now before I go any further ... my 'thing' relates to nothing other than wandering among the graves and musing on who the occupant was, what he or she did, what their life was like. That kind of thing.
I do not perform anything even remotely occult-ish ... no seances, no chanting, no attempts at the raising of the dearly departed. Any/all of that would probably require me to wander around Lisbon in the dead of night, looking for a suitable boneyard - none of which I'm likely to do.
For one thing I'm suspicious of the dark and for another - I'd shit myself.
Lovely. I think so anyway.
That out of the way - I love graveyards. And there's a fabulous one just up the road. So far I've dragged my son around it (twice), MPM and my one of friends. In and among, I've been there quite a few times alone. MYM simply indulged me, my son moaned on occasion (and sounded like a whining ghost) but ended (morbidly) fascinated with all the graves. And my friend simply walked out, declaring me 'creepy and strange'.
Don't worry. I forgave her. She still gets a Christmas card.
Now a curious thing about the Portuguese is this: from dying to being six foot under the time span is a max of three days. Say you kick the bucket on a Wednesday? Pushing up daises by Friday. Cash out on a Sunday? You're enjoying eternal rest by Tuesday.
I'm not sure what the Portuguese funeral directors do in those two days. Obviously whatever it is, it's done with a certain flare and with an eye on the 72 hour clock - but however or whyever they do it, do it they do.
You're declared dead, given an appointed reason for death (to me it should simply read: lack of breath or obvious lack of life), then released to the family, shunted to funeral parlour and henceforth deposited either into the Earth from whence you came (I came from the womb, don't know about you) or placed in a crypt.
I wasn't joking.
And a beautiful example of the Portuguese respect for their departed loved ones.
Some of the ... mausoleums (is that what they're called?) are beautiful. In a creepy, haunting kind of way.
And all this makes me wonder why on Earth we Brits take a week. What are our funeral directors doing in the seven days? What boxes need ticking? For me, the Portuguese way is the best way. No hanging around, no prolonging the final journey. No prolonged suffering for the family. Exactly how it should be.
Get with it UK.