Friday, July 16, 2010

Day Eight -- Cemeteries


I love cemeteries, the older the better. Not that I spend much time in any cemetery, in fact I can't even remember the last time I visited one. When I was about 12 I visited my aunt in Illinois and the small town had a cemetery with graves dating to the 1700's. I could have spent my entire trip in that cemetery. The history fascinated me and I couldn't get enough of exploring the place and reading the inscriptions on the headstones.

I suppose the headstones are the most fascinating part of a cemetery, at least to me. I really don't like the newer cemeteries with markers on the ground. A nice old headstone, preferably with some pictorial engraving, like the one below, attract me. I wonder about the life of the person buried beneath the headstone, who they loved and who loved them in return. Was it a hard life or a charmed life? Did they have children and if so what became of them? The most touching are the graves of babies with headstones inscribed "six days old" or even a small grave next to the larger mother's grave, someone who died in childbirth. Sometimes the baby is buried with the mother.

I highly recommend this book I bought a few years back in the bargain section at Barnes and Noble:
Stories in Stone .

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