First and foremost, let me introduce myself. My name’s Christopher, and I’d like to (as personally as possible) welcome you to my little world of death positive content!
Believe it or not, Six Feet Above The Grave was kind of created by accident. I started my personal journey of becoming death positive in the early months of 2016, and since that time – I knew that I wanted to create or get involved with something related to the topic.
2019 was a very difficult year for me and my family. My husband lost his Grandfather in late April, and then my Grandfather passed away in early May. Naturally, we’ve lost special people over the years. However, this was our first experience of losing a family member that we were very close with. Our true grief journeys were sent into overdrive, and they were such big moments of change for each side of our family.
Just months later, the plague and restrictions of 2019 came along and jolted our reality. I’m sure you can relate to how stressful, depressing and chaotic (to say the least) that moment in time was. Our grief already felt never-ending – all while the whole world felt like it was ending. It was such an emotional shit show. We’d experienced very big losses, we watched the world lose its fair share of beautiful souls and then even more loss decided to cross our paths.
The health of our longtime family dog deteriorated practically overnight. We had to have him euthanized in May of 2020. I never experienced the loss of pet before, and I was in no way prepared for the void his passing would bring to our home. Losing a furry companion truly is like losing a member of your family. As human beings, we really do take too much for granted. As if enough wasn’t enough already at the time, my Grandma passed away not long after in December of 2020 – two days following Christmas.
Being devastated over the passing of my Grandmother was (and still is) an understatement. Her leaving this world just iced my cake of grief. Both of my Grandparents were constant staples in my life, and they truly were a bonus set of parents to me. Grief (raw and real grief) was now my new best friend.
The winter months following my Grandma’s passing were very tough. I was heavily grieving, continuing to deal with the chaos of the world that we were all living in at the time, feeling the wrath of boredom and seclusion, and trying so hard to cope and manage my home life in the mix of things. It was a lot to juggle.
Like a lot of people did during the time of lockdown, I turned to TikTok for entertainment. After the algorithm figured out that I wasn’t overly amused with watching teenie boppers lip sync and dance to trendy songs, I started to come across content that showcased people cleaning graves. Seeing these neglected memorials get spruced up was so instantly gratifying to me. After some time, I just randomly took it upon myself to do some homework on the task of cleaning graves and decided to give it a try.
Visiting the cemetery and tidying up the resting places of loved ones that passed away was something that I had done with my Grandma many times while growing up. With her passing, I knew certain gravesites wouldn’t be receiving any attention moving forward – so, they were the perfect sites to put my newfound hobby to the test.
Ideally, I would’ve visited the resting places of my Grandparents first – but the majority of their cremains are (as far as I know) being selfishly held by a relative I no longer claim. I’ll be sure to elaborate on that hot mess of a situation in a blog post at some point soon. For now, I’ll just let you know now that a death in the family will bring out the true character of those who remain. Guaranteed.
I apologize for getting sidetracked there for a moment. Moving on…
Once Spring of 2021 came along, I was excited to get out of the house and show some love to some final resting places of family. Considering my influence from TikTok, I decided to record and share my own experiences while doing this deed. I thought it would be a bonus if I could possibly inspire other people to do the same thing, or at least help them find or rekindle their own appreciation for cemeteries.
Here’s the very first grave cleaning video I of together which features me tidying up the gravesite of my Grand Uncle. My Pap always seemed to have a fond connection to my Grand Uncle (who was his older brother), the short life that he lived and his grave – even considering the fact that he himself didn’t have the opportunity to meet or know him. Something just made me choose my little Grand Uncle’s resting place as the first stop on my grave cleaning venture.
As I carried on recording and sharing the grave cleanings that I was performing, I started to connect with other people that were into this sort of thing. My TikTok videos started gaining more and more attention, and I was receiving a variety of comments and questions about what I was doing from people of all walks of life – from all over the world. Some people shared how they planned on visiting the gravesite of their loved one soon to give it a good scrub. It was (and continues to be) an uplifting experience that just sort of came to be. Surprisingly, due to my grief.
Regardless of its promise to us all, death is a topic that a lot of people would like to avoid. Personally, I’ve struggled (and still do at times) with obsessively fearing death to the point that it consumed my life with debilitating anxiety. However, I eventually reached a point where I just knew that I had to hold myself responsible for my troubles and make an effort to cope with them in a different way.
Six Feet Above The Grave might be viewed as a mish mosh of death related content at times, but everything I share is genuinely aimed to inspire you and others to have a more death positive attitude going forward in life.
So, I hope you’ll stick around and join me on my continuous ventures of visiting cemeteries to appreciate, clean and even decorate graves – as well as enjoy (and maybe even learn from or relate to) the personal input I share about things like attending funerals, dealing with my own grief, living life with death anxiety, and honoring lost loved ones.
Let’s learn to handle death more positively while we’re all still on this journey of living six feet above the grave!