When Worlds Collide

Sometime coincidences are just a little too spooky.

I was a little bit lost on the the back roads of County Cork when a tiny cemetery and chapel caught my attention. Later I learned it was Kilshannig Cemetery.

Despite the rain I pulled off the road as best I could, found a small gate in the heavy stone wall and ventured inside.

I am not usually one to read the texts and think about the history inscribed on tombstones and lives lived. Instead I prefer to keep it a purely visual experience.

I spent a little while walking around the chapel and feeling the somber mood of the low light, the wintry drizzle and sullen overcast sky.

As I was ready to say goodbye and head back to the comfort of a warm and dry vehicle one tombstone caught my eye and drew me in to read the words inscribed.

‘In loving memory of Jim O’Connor Pendys Cross Dromahane Died 22nd Nov 1995 …’

Usually I would have stopped there, but something kept me reading.

His parents were buried here. His 18 month old sister was buried here. There were family here acknowledged back to William O’Conner who died in 1772.

Still, nothing too unusual for an obscure out of the way Irish cemetery … And then I saw what was written Last.

‘Tim (Timmy) O’Connor (Late of Pendys Cross) Died 18th December 1998 Interred in Adelaide Australia’

Adelaide, where I now live, and the farthest place on the planet from Kilshannig Cemetery, was the very last line.

It was chance that brought me here, it was chance I noticed this grave and unusual for me to have read the inscription to the end.

So now as I drive past any cemetery here in Adelaide I think about Timmy O’Conner, and wonder what brought him here.


Photo: Robert Rath, ‘When Worlds Collide’, 1/30s f/13 ISO160 17mm

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