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Jo, the man who dug his own grave

“And there you have it, everything is ready to go in!” »Sweat on his forehead, muddy soles and a big smile of satisfaction, Jo has just finished her chore. Noon strikes on this Wednesday and the Melrandais has indeed just completed a funny job in a place that is not really. In the cemetery of Pontivy (56), this former driver with a tonic accent has, in fact, dug his own grave. “Everyone is free to do whatever they want, right? », Retorts this happy drill who, although in the newspaper today, is not on the verge of death. “I’m only 62, I’m in great shape and I don’t plan on going into it right away. Let’s say thirty years from now! », Laughs the person concerned.

In life, you have to try to do everything yourself. This is the D system

But why do you want to play amateur gravediggers for a day? “To keep busy in retirement and above all to save money. In life, you have to try to do everything yourself, that’s how you manage to make a little money. It is system D ”, explains the one who does the accounts. “111 € for the rental of the one-ton mini-excavator used to dig the hole, then € 1,000 and dust for the complete masonry kit to create the vault, where we will put the coffins”, details the Morbihannais.

Everything is ready to welcome the coffins of Jo and her friend. “But hey, all that will not be useful immediately, eh! », He reassures (Le Télégramme / Pierre Bernard)

Coffins and gravestone

Speaking of coffins, everything will soon be settled as well. “My friend has already bought hers and I will take one soon. Then we’ll take care of the gravestone, I’ll put it down myself. But hey, all that will not be useful immediately, eh! », He reassures once again. Even if the terraces and bars have finally reopened, the beer will be for much later.

When I die, everything will already be ready. I don’t want to owe anyone anything

Above all, by taking the lead, Jo knows that at the hour of the last breath, he will spare his family some hassle. “When I die, everything will be ready and they won’t have to pay anything. I don’t want to owe anyone anything. They’ll just have to dip the coffin in there, and it’ll be good! “

Make your hole

The “inside” is therefore this hole, 1.60 m high and one meter wide. A fatal cavity plowed by the mini-excavator all morning under a bright sun: no question of digging his grave under a gray sky sadness. “It’s been several weeks since I wanted to make my hole but it was raining constantly. With this good weather, it’s perfect: the cement will be able to set, ”explains Jo, her body sweating and her hand gripping the mini-shovel. It is not a question of having a bad fall in this precise place.

This is my future home, facing southwest and with very calm neighbors

Boulevard of the elongated and under a privileged sky, Jo has therefore sealed his fate: he will be buried there, in this piece of land, alley J2, in the shade of the plane trees rustling in the wind. “This is my future home, facing south-west and with very calm neighbors,” quips the owner who, a few years ago, in another town, had already dug his parents’ grave. “At the time, the pit was made of concrete blocks,” he recalls. This time, he is helped by two of his friends. One of them dares to joke: “When you’re in the hole, I promise, I’ll come and bring you flowers!” A blow to die for laughing, all that.

Jo, the man who dug his own grave
Alley J2 of the cemetery of Pontivy (56): Jo dug his own hole this Wednesday. All that was needed was to cement the cellar this Thursday (Le Télégramme / Pierre Bernard)

A first in Pontivy

Death, Jo talks about it without blinking. “It’s everyone’s fate, we arrive and we leave, unfortunately … Me, I prefer to be buried and sleep once and for all rather than take a blow of the blowtorch in the buttocks”, smiles the Melrandais who, for to obtain the right to dig his own hole, obviously had to apply to the town hall.

It was granted on an exceptional basis

And the request, in the corridors of the municipality, surprised more than one. “It was granted on an exceptional basis because the person had the required skills. In any case, this is the first time in the history of the City that we have had this type of request ”, tells us an elected official. A strange request, so to speak. But for Jo, it’s just one way to make a dent in life.

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