Sunday, February 19, 2012

Random thoughts...

on cemeteries...I know that probably sounds odd, but hear me out.

We live around the corner from a really old cemetery-like people who were born in the 1700's are buried there. It's in a beautiful location overlooking the river; the people who planned it obviously thought it would bring people peace and comfort to be able to gaze over the river when burying their people. The kids and I like to go check out the old headstones, it's brought up a lot of really interesting conversations for us. For example, they always wonder about headstones that say "Baby LastName" and then only have one year on it. Gabe was quite perturbed that kids died routinely in the 1800's, which lead to a nice discussion about why it's so important to go to the doctor, eat good foods, and exercise.

Today something the kids and I noticed was how people honor those who've gone before them. In the middle of the cemetery is a giant obelisk monument. It's for one whole area where the whole family is buried. The headstones themselves are huge and ornate; not surprisingly they are for people who've died many many years ago. It seems like even fifty years ago, people were so devoted to their families that they would put up huge monuments to their deceased. It's interesting to see how the size of headstones has changed just in the last half century (this is something I've observed at other cemeteries as well-not just this one-you can almost always tell when the person died by the size of their headstone)

Gabe is partial to the military headstones; they're simple, white headstones with a name, date, and their rank. We have quite a few WWI and WWII vets buried in our cemetery. I am really partial to the ones that are so old you can barely make out the name or dates on them. Bits likes the big, flowery bright headstones. There are quite a few pink headstones if you can believe that.

I love walking in the cemetery, it's so quiet and peaceful. The only sounds we heard were crunching leaves, squirrels chattering and one persistent cardinal couple squawking at one another.  We cleared off headstones, picked up flowers and wreaths that had fallen over, and talked about why it's important to be respectful and quiet in a cemetery...and then we ran back to the park to get covered in mud and wear ourselves out! What a way to spend the day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like you, I often walk through old cemeteries and think about the lives of those who were born long before me. In many cemeteries where I live there are multiple children named on one tombstone, which always saddens me. Cemeteries creep a lot of people out, but I find them peaceful places.


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