|Mt Thompson Memorial Gardens|
I was reading Chuck Palahniuk's book Fugitives and Refugees
and he wrote about spending a lot of time hanging around this place in Portland -
Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial
and writing his book Survivor .
So I decided to head up to my local crematorium with my camera and take some photos of the grounds that I have spent many a sad day in, and no doubt will again soon...
hopefully not for my final visit though. ;-)
This place is kind of like Hollywood for the dead, with it's long palm tree lined driveway up to where the final act is performed, if you happen to be the star of the show on the day.
Luckily it was a day of rest around here, being a Sunday, but for the permanent residents everyday must feel like a Sunday to them.
There are two chapels in the grounds, but this is the one I've spent most of my time in fare-welling...mainly family members who have passed on.
The last one here was my father-in-law's funeral about three years ago.
I still remember those glass doors above slamming shut in dramatic style right at the end of my wife's grandfather's funeral when a storm developed coming from the direction of the hospital he had died in, and ended exactly when his service ended.
As soon as we got outside there was no trace of the storm clouds in the sky.
It was a truly weird experience indeed.
The other chapel is the West Chapel.
The West Chapel does seem to have a more religious quality to it.
And the roof pattern on the West Chapel roof is rather trippy with all of those octagons.
And this side piece to the West Chapel reminded me of all the lattice work on the "Tommy" album cover.
|British director Ken Russell attends the Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences (AMPAS) at The 35th Anniversary Of The Who's "Tommy" on May
21, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. |
The Oscar-nominated director died in his sleep at the age of 84.
Ken Russell poses with Tommy album
|A scene from the movie Tommy.|
|Octagons as gazebos?|
And there are plenty of places to sit down and reflect on life, before your brain is turned to ash and interned with all the other stars who had their day of fame here before becoming just one more brick in the wall.
It's a great place to explore on the weekend, when no funerals are taking place and you have the whole place to yourself...and who knows Chuck,
I might just write a more popular novel than Fight Club or Survivor from within these grounds...and I will be very well aware of deadlines in this place, as well. ;-)
UPDATE: March 16th, 2017
My father was cremated here in September 2016.
|The Poinciana tree at Mt.Thompson|
|My old car and the Poinciana tree at Mt.Thompson in 2013|
|'Australian Christmas Tree' by Frieda Hughes|