I didn't think I had a problem
this is an unexpectedly enlightening piece without the usual macabre tones. It instead offers up the pleasure of understanding the lives of people no longer with us, people not necessarily known when alive , and without the trappings of a social engagement. Cemeteries turn into a profound educational forum which is a novel way of thinking about them and providing respect.
Graveyards are wonderful places to explore. Sometimes I stop and explore along a road less traveled.
Funerals on the other hand, not so enamored. I had an ex who loved attending funerals. He would use them as a social outlet. He would stay until the bitter end. You could hear him holding court and laughing up a storm like he was hosting a comedy show. I used to hide in obscure places until he was ready to leave.
Celebrations of life (they're called now days) hold no interest of mine either.
I really resonate with..."Perhaps I am drawn to funerals out of an intense need to connect to people more deeply." People are stripped of artifice when in the presence of death. They become more themselves.
Have to admit I avoid funerals, but visiting afterward in the quiet sunlight and shadows is a comfort.
Loved this! But, your “ quick to the bottom line blond friend”, would not have been too pleased I suspect , with such a charming narrative! Her loss; our gain!
After my husband died last spring, one of his sons came to visit me. I asked if he had received my last text , and as answered simply with TLTR! So… there we are…
Carol - It is clear that you really understand that grief is what leads us to experience the fullness of life. I too haunt cemetaries looking for someone with the same name as mine. Equal parts humour and pathos. A well balanced and well told piece. Congratulations.
Carol, you articulated so many things we think about and feel in relation to living and dying. Somehow my weekly walks through Mount Pleasant Cemetery make me feel as if I am part of a grand continuum of souls with all of the same yearnings, fears and desires of those who preceded me. I never fail to chuckle when passing my favourite mausoleum to a military man named Captain Fluke . And I will not forget the seemingly thousands of crosses at the Cimetière Beny-sur-Mer in Normandy commemorating our Canadian fallen soldiers. So many who died to ensure that we might live our lives as you suggest - with the freedom to be our best selves. Thank you, Carol.
Carol, I am very moved by your story, and especially its intimacy of thought and wonder. The flow of your words carry the image of those thoughts so beautifully. Mary Hawkins
I love meandering through an old graveyard. In fact, I live across the street from one! It's to the East, and I love watching the sunrise over the landscape. I've captured some photos on my Instagram (@jenzug) using a #DailyCemetery hashtag. There are a few Civil War vets buried there, some Russian mobsters (probably not, but I like to imagine), and too many babies from the early 1900s. Occasionally we hear a 21 gun salute. https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/dailycemetery/