Thanks to Cassius Corbin
Cassius, words fail to express how much I appreciate this post. I’ve had an affection for cemeteries all my life, as does my granddaughter — hereditary? No, her mom, my daughter, is adopted but still, my granddaughter and I share a great appreciation for homes of the deceased.
I find cemeteries to be fascinating and calming. I can walk for hours, reading headstones and imagining the lives of the deceased. What better way to honor them than to dedicate time to recreating their lives?
And, because cemeteries are usually quiet and sometimes remote, they are playgrounds for nature! Birds, squirrels, and a variety of other critters like to frequent these places of death. Besides the sad store-bought bouquets placed at headstones, cemeteries are often gardens of planted or volunteered flowers, bushes, and trees.
I prefer less “maintained” cemeteries because they allow nature to honor the deceased with whatever flowers she feels like planting.
Although I believe I would prefer cremation, I like to visit cemeteries of all those who preferred the eternal ground method.
My previous husband’s family has several plots in a city cemetery and although he and I did not end well before his passing, I still enjoy visiting his family in their resting places — even those I didn’t know. After 28 years in the family, I feel like I know them all!
After five years of marriage, we returned to his home area and I soon took over the graveyard maintenance. Although the city mowed and watered any planted bushes and flowers, I provided flowers on each headstone.
At first, I didn’t know any of those below the ground, except by family stories and reputations. But, as time passed, those I knew joined the ranks of the deceased. Then, my hours in cemetery became longer and more meaningful. I told Uncle Sedgel about his beloved Gators winning the National Football Championship. I told Aunt Ruby about how her fig tree was doing. I told Uncle Bob that I missed his humor. I joked with Granny about her snuff can.
My trips to the cemetery became family reunions.
Before my grandchildren moved far away two years ago, I took them to the cemetery and introduced them to family members they never knew existed.
People should not be freaked out by or frightened of cemeteries.
Cemeteries are the homes of our ancestors. They are the libraries of our personal histories.
Cemeteries are where nature meets humanity.