I want to apologize before I get started, writing this will be quite difficult for me emotionally. I hope you will all understand if I lose my composure or even my composition from time to time. I'm going to try my best. Dampe was very close to me and his death really cut me deep. In a span of 7 years, I lost a man that I looked up to. He wasn't just a grave keeper, or even just a friend to me, he was my mentor. Dampe, taught me about life, love, and happiness. I learned the most heartwarming alive lessons about life from a man who lived his in a cold and desolate graveyard. Dampe was truly a character. A monk in grave keepers clothes.
Dampe was a great man, a simple man, a man overlooked by many. Most seen Dampe as just a simple grave keeper, but most never took the time to see the man behind the shovel. Dampe may not have looked it, but he was a rich man. No, not in wealth, but in spirit. Dampe had a deep understanding of life, death, and of the human spirit. As a grave keeper, Dampe witnessed the harsh and grim truths of death on a daily basis. I can't even imagine what Dampe must have felt like. Very rarely do we give conscience thought upon our own death, or even the meaning of death. Ignorance is simply comforting. Dampe decided not to take that luxury. He could have changed occupations, but he stayed. He knew the benefits of facing death.
To look at life as if you could die at any moment, was to look at life with the grave keeper's view. He once asked me "Do you want me to dig here? 10 Rupees for one hole"
, on the surface it seemed like a simple question, but as I got to know Dampe over the months I spent in Kakariko village, I learned that it was much much more significant. Dampe was a philosopher. "Do you want me to dig here?"
, what I didn't get at the time was that he was trying to tell me that in life you have to put your shovel down sometime and dig for something of true worthand value to you. Something that you could give your life purpose, happiness; a reason to wake up and feel alive every morning. "10 Rupees for one hole"
, what was Dampe trying to say here? He was trying to say that not only did I have to put effort into finding purpose and happiness, but sacrifice was and will always be an essential part of the dig.
Dampe knew deep within his heart that material possessions, money, titles, or even success would ever make a person happy. He knew that finding purpose and happiness with an attitude set with perpetual gratitude for the gift of life was key. As he lived he was thankful for every breath he was allowed to take. Dampe treasured everything the Golden Goddesses gave him, especially relationships. Hell, that's why Dampe started the Heart-Pounding Gravedigging Tour
. He knew the importance and happiness of connecting with others emotionally. Dampe would let anyone take the tour, he would never discriminate. With his shovel in hand and his ears at full attention, Dampe would let you be the grave keeper, if only for a few minutes. He let you call the shots, dig here, dig there, move this tomb. I'm sure he found much joy, much, much, mu.......sorry. it's just, just, it's just that I remember it so vividly. Dampe, I, I, I miss ya, I really do. Sorry about that everyone. I'm, I'm sure he found much joy in the excitement expressed by the many that took his Heart-Pounding Gravedigging Tour
It only seemed like yesterday that I met him. I was running around Kakariko village and I stumbled into the town's graveyard; it was nightfall. I seen a strange looking man hobbling around the graves with a shovel. I'm not going to lie, I was scared. I thought he may have been a grave robber. Eventually I got the nerve to talk to him. The first thing Dampe ever said to me was "Hey Kid! Don't mess around with the graves! I'm Dampe the Gravekeeper! My face may be scary, but I'm not a bad guy..."
Dampe had a tendency to use exclamation points in his speech. Like I said, the man lived vibrantly. After I met Dampe, I would stop and visit him every chance I could. We would spend time talking about heart pieces, women, death, and life. Dampe was a great friend and mentor. I still regret my 7 year absence, only because I could not have been there for him in his last days. Thinking about it just...just....it just really pains me.
I know I'm not the only one who was close to the man, most of you here reading this were probably close to Dampe as well. He touched many of our hearts. Moved us and motivated us in ways we alone never would. Dampe, was more then just a grave keeper, he was a beautiful human being, a life giver. What the reaper took, Dampe gave back. His compassionate, heartwarming actions and words will forever be buried deep within us all. *Sniff* Dampe may have departed physically, but he is still very much alive. His spirit still burns. We have a responsibility to uphold to our kindred grave keeper. Keep his flame burning. Give back, be fervent with gratitude just as Dampe would have been. Rest in Peace Dampe. We love you.