Only the afterthought remains


In the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Whitby, we came across this unexpected result of the interplay between people and the elements.

I love the idea that for some reason, after this tombstone was carved, they needed to change it. Maybe

  • extra family members were added
  • the original words wore away and had to be restored
  • the stonemason made a mistake

So an extra piece of matching stone was neatly added into the original surface. I like to imagine that the craftsman was proud of this patch-up. “No one will ever see the join,” he (I’m fairly certain it was a he) might have thought.

Then the weather took its toll – it’s pretty exposed at the top of the 199 steps to the Abbey site overlooking the sea. The words wore away, becoming harder to read until it was impossible to make out the names or details of the deceased.

Except for one word, the humble conjunctive adverb, because its little piece of stone was a little newer or harder than the original. “I’m not finished yet,” it says.


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