Here Lies Patrick Waverly

Alan Waverly was born on November 20, 1899 and died on May 13, 1983.  His wife, Elizabeth, passed away on July 17, 1985 after having lived seventy-nine years, six months and two days.  Their son Gordon, born on March 26, 1931 is still alive according to the family tombstone.  His brother, Patrick, however, wasn’t so lucky.  He died in 1956 at the age of twenty-three.

It’s Patrick’s story that interests Finn Whitby.  A part of him is interested in the other Waverly family members, of course, but to die at twenty-three, the same age that Finn is now, is unnerving.

Finn had discovered the Waverly plot while cutting through the Riverview Cemetery on his way to work one day.  Some people at the office think that the recent hire’s daily trips through the cemetery are creepy, but Finn isn’t fazed by them at all.  Dead people can’t hurt you, but they can make you think.

Who was Patrick Waverly and why did he die so young, Finn wants to know.  Was it an accident, an illness, a suicide?  Maybe he was murdered or died of a broken heart.  No doubt his death broke the hearts of his parents, but what about his brother?  Did Patrick’s life being cut short inspire Gordon to live his life to the fullest or did it cause him to live a cautionary one in order to avoid the same fate?  In his final moments, did Patrick think ‘Thank God this nightmare is over’ or ‘Damn!  I was just getting started!’?

All of these questions have run through Finn’s head at one point or another.  He doesn’t know where to look for answers and he’s not sure if he really wants to know.  Some things are better left a mystery.  Besides, there’s really only one question that Finn needs answered and he’s the only one that can do so.

“You only have one life,” Finn said aloud after walking past the Waverly plot on his way to work this morning.  “It could end five minutes from now or you could have another seventy years ahead of you.  Are you wasting what unknown amount of time you have been given, or are you making it count?”

There have been lots of people just like Patrick Waverly throughout history, and it’s in memory of him that Finn decides it’s time to make some changes.

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