Why I Love Cemeteries

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Just one of thousands of beautiful monuments in the Granada cemetery.

It seems an odd thing to many that a person would enjoy going to a cemetery, but I have three main reasons that they appeal to me:

  1. The first reason is that my grandmother used to take me and I think some of my siblings (not sure) to Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, California, to put flowers on the graves of her parents and other members of the extended family, who frankly I cannot remember. The act of placing flowers on the graves enchanted me back then and still does, but it was the fact that Oak Hill had peacocks that always made me happy we were going – both the traditional blue and green birds and white ones. I’m not sure if Oak Hill still has them, but I’m planning to visit my relatives there in the next year or so and see.
  2. I always feel at peace in a graveyard. I have no explanation for that, but it’s true. It feels similar to me as going inside a church. I’m not at all religious, and yet the inside of a church calms and centers me. I feel the same way walking slowly through a cemetery, especially if I’m alone.
  3. The history contained in a cemetery is immense. I stop at any pioneer cemetery I have time for – especially in California. The gravestones tell such stories. The pictures here are from the oldest cemetery in Central America in Granada, Nicaragua. It was mainly used from 1872-1921 and you can see that no expense was spared here. The wealthy chose to show off their wealth in death as in life. Former presidents of Nicaragua are buried here.

 

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There are rows and rows of these lovely mausoleums in the Granada cemetery.

I’m headed to Guatemala soon, where I hope to visit Mayan Ruins. My amazing experience in Angkor Wat last year tells me that I’ll be overwhelmed there as well. Ruins give me that same feeling of calm as the graveyards and churches. Perhaps it’s the sense of connection to things that are long gone. I don’t know.

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The resting place of former presidents of Nicaragua

Author: Kathy Lynn Hall

I've embarked on the lifestyle of vagabond as a solitary woman and I'm excited about sharing my experiences with you.

4 thoughts on “Why I Love Cemeteries”

  1. I think we have a lot in common. I’m a woman who travels alone, only in the USA. And I found a refuge in Hollywood Cemetery when my life went down the tubes about 10 years ago. Hollywood Cemetery made a better artist out of me. I practiced figure drawing there with stone angels as models.

  2. Thanks for your comment Chris. I think solo women travelers automatically have something rather big in common. My husband is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery and when I lived in the San Fernando Valley, I enjoyed going and sitting on the lawn next to him and talking. He had worked at the Walt Disney Burbank Studios and wanted to be buried looking down on it. You can just see the Sorcerers Hat from there. Good luck on your journeys! I’m going to go follow you now.

  3. I’ve always loved cemeteries. Where I grew up in a village in Cheshire, England, there was a 15th century church of red sandstone, pock-marked with musket holes from the Civil War, and surrounded by old yew trees and wibbly wobbly tombstones encrusted with lichen and drowning in wild flowers. So much history, so many people, so much love! And I think of Pere Lachaise in November with the leaves brown and yellow and mouldy, or Highgate and the giant head of Marx, or the chessboard family tombs of Guadeloupe, or the amazing mansions complete with plumbing and electricity, kitchens, TV lounges, swimming pools and helicopter landing pads found in the Chinese cemetery in Manila. All so fascinating. And then there’s the geology of the tombstones, the ecology of the grounds, the geneology of the headstones … I am certainly with you Kath!

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