Excerpt from The Great Whiteness

by John Berger

Found in Pig Earth in the Into Their Labours Trilogy

Read by Emma Rye

All the dead are remembered at La Toussaint. Some say it is the day when the dead judge the living, and that the flowers placed in the cemetery are to make their judgement less harsh.

A week after La Toussaint, Helene came down to the cemetery to remove two pots of chrysanthemums, one from the grave of her husband and the other from her father’s grave. For the last two nights the sky had been exceptionally clear, the stars as hard as nails, and the frost had nipped all the life out of the flowers. If she took them now, before the frost entered the roots, she could plant them out next spring, and in the late summer they would flower again to appease the dead.