For whatever reason I have been in love with cemeteries since I was a kid. I don’t know why. I think it might be because it’s history and is a reminder that something happened. Someone lived in this world and may or may not have touched someone’s life. The various headstones are a reminder about how life can be filled with so many experiences and also that life can be short and that you need to cherish every moment you have in this world.
There is something peaceful about walking through a cemetery. They give you a chance to literally walk through a part of history in a way. When I went to visit my best friend in Oregon in July 2009, Mindy took me to one of the oldest cemeteries in Roseburg. I find it fascinating to look at the various dates on the headstones marking the memory of someone who once lived. In this cemetery you could tell the difference between the rich and the poor just by looking at the graves. One stood out amongst the rest. It was a tomb and sat in the middle of the cemetery. There were many names that were enclosed in this one plot, but the tomb itself was a sight to see. It was that of a Captain. Roseburg isn’t that far from the ocean and he was probably a sea Captain and his grave just left me wondering who he was, how did he die, what was he like? Almost two years later and I still wonder about who that man was.
The most interesting cemetery I have ever been in was that of Salem, Massachusetts. You stand just outside of the gate, you can hear the traffic and people around you, but the moment you step foot inside that gate, silence falls upon you and any sounds that you hear just a step go becomes distant. My mom and I have told people that it was the creepiest thing, but calming at the same time. At least for me. The other cemetery that always stands out in my mind is one in Boston. Right inside the gate is that of Samuel Adams, the cousin of President John Adams, and a little further in was Paul Revere. Looking at these specific graves makes you realize that these people who you learned about in school really did exist.
As interesting as cemeteries can be, it isn’t easy to forget that you are surrounded by death. I have always been respectful of those buried and any family members that may be present. I would never do anything to criticize someone’s memory. Like anyone else in this world, I have lost people and rarely visit their graves. In a way, I would much rather look at others’ grave rather than those of my family or friends. Losing someone is never easy and their graves are just a way that we can honor them and still fee close to them.
There is one cemetery that I haven’t visited in a very long time and one of these days I will go back. It is the cemetery in Ventura, California where Granna is buried. I have one very faint memory of visiting her grave but I was so young that is comes in sporadically. One of these days I will visit again. I miss Granna so much.