A Grave Stare

I have an infatuation with cemeteries. I feel like I have to state: And there is nothing wrong with this!

I’ve been on bike rides with people who refused to stop and rest in a cemetery saying it wasn’t proper or respectful. Which makes me wonder why people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on memorials if they don’t want others to wonder through, have a look at their name and be curious about who they were and the life they lived. I’ve had conversations with others who feel a cemetery is not a place to wonder about aimlessly.

I feel it very proper and respectful to see a name, a tidbit of information….and wonder. I could spend hours in the sunshine, or drizzly rain, aimlessly seeking humor from the 1800’s, statements of love and heartbreak from the 1900’s. Or even, in one cemetery, wonder about the people who purchased the stone for the man with his name and the epitaph: “He Was A Murderer”. And of course, wonder about the man himself. Did this man truly commit murder? And did his family put that there for the world to see? Or did the victim’s family put it there to make sure no one, like me, saw his name and wondered about his good deeds in life.

Wondering through a cemetery makes me very appreciative of the time we have here.

Mind young friends as you pass by, As you are now so once was I, As I am now, so you must be, Prepare for death and follow me.

Today I saw faces from the graves.

I See Kindness.

I found a building I would live in (with some amenities added) within the cemetery. So I could keep a proper eye over everything.

I saw dates that made me be even more curious about life in a time I could never know. There’s history and lessons to be learned.

I love the peacefulness. The beauty. The care and love the ones left behind put in, or still put in, the care of your earthly plot.
I saw, and realized, that soon no one would see. And people will be forgotten, forever.  Stones unreadable.  Stones gone.  Unmarked lives.

No name.  No date.  No memory.

I saw art.

And of course I saw sorrow.   But with sorrow, there was hope.

Eternal sleep. Or, sleep, until eternal.

Today we paid a visit to a cemetery, and then another.. And now we plan on going back to this cemetery when we can spend an entire day. Walking. Roaming. Reading little bits of history about people’s lives who, maybe, no one else is thinking about any more.

32 thoughts on “A Grave Stare

  1. Looks like fascinating place to explore. I’m especially struck by this: “I saw, and realized, that soon no one would see. And people will be forgotten, forever. Stones unreadable. Stones gone. Unmarked lives.” Sad, isn’t it? And so beautifully said. So glad you all were there to today to see and bear witness.

    Sara and I remarked a number of times today how much we enjoyed our visit with you all yesterday.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    • Aw Kathy, you make me feel so good. We have not stopped talking about our visit. Somebody is planning on a bike trip!!! I won’t say who he is. But he is. 🙂 And thanks for the wonderful comment.

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    • Thanks for visiting Bill Chance! I agree. I like to pay respects, and wonder about their lives. I will jump on over to pay respects to your blog as well. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. i love spending time in cemeteries and reading old tomb stones. it is a peaceful place and like you said full of history. great pics!
    at first i thought you said you were infatuated with centimeters…i couldn’t figure out what that had to do with anything let alone your pics ha! then i went back and read again and everything began to make sense!

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  3. Wow, you’re an interesting woman, Colleen! 🙂
    My yoga teacher in Perth told me that he used to have a fear of graveyards AND BECAUSE OF THAT, he slept in one one night, to take control of his fears, inner talk, etc. I just don’t think I could do that.

    With the photos of the faces – what’s with the guy with the big ear lobes (about 5th down)? Weird!

    Very interesting though, I can’t deny…

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    • Good for your yoga teacher! I’m impressed! 🙂

      I believe that the faces (except for one) are actual likenesses of the person of that grave. That’s my opinion. They are too specific and ‘real’. I was stunned. MOst of these seemed to be in the same area of a very large cemetery, a “ritzy” section and of the same time era. I was fascinated at thinking this is who was here once. Thanks Noeleen!

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    • Oh!!! N’n, the big ear lobes are actually side burns I believe, very old style from the 1700 and 1800, I have seen paintings of faces like this from the colonial days. Isn’t it fascinating? Though I’m sure some thought about their looks and appearance, not as many did then as we do and in the same manner as we do now. Just think, they had no idea an image could be captured in the way we capture them today! Totally amazing!

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  4. I love spending time in cemeteries, too. The art, the landscaping, the peacefulness, and the wondering all draw me to explore cemeteries, big and small. You should check out Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland sometime. It’s huge, and the artwork in there is amazing.

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    • I just loved the doorknob. We hope to go back and spend much more time. This place is 450 acres! And thank you! I believe the same thing, the memorials are there for us to view and think about them.

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