A sad ritual, and a trip to the fort


Today started off a bit strange and sad, as I went with Boris to the gravesite of his friend who died a couple of days ago. The mother and father and a few family members and friends were there, and the whole thing was just heartbreaking to watch. He was clearly, deeply, loved by his family and friends, and his father in particular was inconsolable.  For one thing, he was the only child.  For another, he was so young, only 33. One of the other things that made it even more sad was that his boyfriend of two years was there, but to most of the family they just thought of him as a good friend. Only the mother and his friends knew he was gay, and in this part of the world it is the norm for the families to remain in the dark about it. So the boyfriend could not really be included in a way befitting the partner of someone who has just died. Everyone took turns lighting candles at the head of the grave, just behind the large tombstone. They sat around and shared remembrances (not speaking Serbian, that is what I assume anyway) and crying and consoling each other and arranging the massive pile of flowers on the grave, and after a while we left. I feel so bad for everyone involved, I had even met this friend of Boris’ when he came to New York a couple of years ago, it is such a tragedy to die so young and so suddenly.

After that, Boris and I went for a meal of heavy crepes, then walked around the old Belgrade Fortress, and then for a drink by the water.

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