And if the death was particularly disturbing, small-town graveyards are also where those secrets are buried.
In Sagada’s hilltop cemetery, Donni “Cadiog” Cadiogan’s grave marker did not look like any of the others. His grave was fresh, not more than a few months old. The border between the turned soil and the rest had yet to be overgrown, so a long, rectangular border could still be seen glinting through the grassy loam. And there were a couple of things that seemed off about his simple wooden cross painted with a gay blue sky and flowers. The first was the cryptic, bitter epitaph painted on the back:
“It gives you real respect for the truth when you have to clean up lives that have been based on a lie. Think about it. Donni”
The second was the span between the dates on the front: June 26, 1980 — September 3, 2002. He had died at 22, an age so young his life was barely lived.
To die at that age is to die tragically.
Monday, October 13, 2003