Saturday, April 25, 2015

Graveyard

A few weeks ago Cordelia asked if we could visit the graveyard. We were driving past on our way to ballet and she had spotted a headstone that was also a bench. For some reason that caught her interest. When she asked I wasn't surprised. Graveyards are pretty and park like and interesting. I told her we could visit someday, but assumed that she would soon forget about the graveyard.

She did not forget. Instead she got Elise excited about the idea. I am not quite sure what they were expecting, but yesterday I agreed.


I remember my mother telling me that she loved going to cemeteries as a child. She shared this casually with me when I was young and as a result I have never felt fearful while in graveyards. So I took the same approach yesterday. 


It was a beautiful morning and the cemetery was just bursting with spring beauty. We walked through the headstones, stopping to read occasionally. I will say that I stayed away from the part of the cemetery that has children...that I knew would be upsetting to my girls. Instead we read headstones of men and women who had lived long and full lives. 

They picked dandelions and left them, without my prompting they noticed that there were flowers left at headstones. They had some questions. Most interestingly Cordelia revealed that she thought people went to the graveyard to die. I wondered what she had imagined, but on such a beautiful idea that seemed like a rather lovely idea. I did explain that this was not where people went to die.


We stopped at one headstone that was shared. The girls noted the photos inlaid and the etching of a semi truck. I read the headstone at the girls' request and it said something about "glory days." Then we noted that the woman, picture already in place, was still alive. There was no date of death, yet. 

Cordelia asked if I thought his wife had forgotten about him yet. I told her that she would never forget her husband. Then I showed her the beautiful orange and black feather that was poking out of the ground, obviously placed there by someone. An older blue feather was laying in the grass. She noted that someone, maybe his wife, was leaving these for her husband.

We decided to head out and on our way back to the car Cordelia spotted a bench tombstone. The girls wanted to sit on the bench, but I was a bit uncertain as I could see at a distance that there was a rather elaborate engraving. As we approached I read the text above the engraved trees and it said something like,"Sit a spell, Bill and Barb (different names) never knew a stranger." So I let them sit for a moment. They were just being happy children and they were not afraid of death and that was good.

2 comments:

Anne Mason-Jezek said...

I have loved cemeteries for as long as I can remember, they have always seemed so peaceful to me. I really enjoy the ones here in Europe as they are super old...some headstones with skulls and crossbones, even. The cemetery in your town is one I walked in as a child during a very difficult time for me and my family and it brought me much comfort then. I'm glad you were able to do this with the girls.

Allen said...

Growing up the son and grandson of undertakers been in the cemetery often, happy the girls were not afraid.

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