The Beauty of Old Cemeteries

When I was a kid, the mere mention of going to a cemetery sent a wave of fear through me.  Lots of scary stories evolved from those places and I made a point to stay away.

When I was a teenager, my great aunt’s husband passed away.   She told me, shortly after his death, that she would take her lawn chair to his grave and sit and talk to him.  I couldn’t understand why she would do something like that.  He was gone.  He couldn’t hear you.

Years later, my firstborn son died.  After the funeral and after the family had left, I had an extreme urge to be by his grave.  Maybe to reassure myself this was not a dream, maybe to be close to him one more time.  One day when I was visiting, I found myself talking to him.

It was then I began to view cemeteries differently.

As some of you know from the posts Dirt Therapy and One Day at a Time,  my mom was in an accident several weeks ago and two days after the accident suffered a massive stroke.  Sadly, she passed away last week.   She was buried in a very old, very beautiful cemetery near the Buffalo River.  The day of the funeral was cool and crisp and I couldn’t help thinking how much she enjoyed days like this.

There is peaceful, calming presence about this cemetery.  It sits on a mountain surrounded by trees and wildlife.  An old, small church stands in front of the cemetery and a narrow, two lane highway runs beside it.

Cemeteries are full of stories, unknown to the visitor passing by, but reflected on by the family.

As I walk through the cemetery, certain headstones catch my eye.

And how very sad to lose a child on Christmas day,

Or the loss of so many children to the smallpox outbreak

Some stories will remain a mystery,

While others express our thoughts and wishes.

Although this is a very sad time for our family, I am so thankful for all the good memories and stories we will share of my mom for years to come.

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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9 Responses to The Beauty of Old Cemeteries

  1. Jan Gaddis says:

    What a wonderful way to honor your Mom. I know she is looking down on you and is very proud of you.


  2. Holleygarden says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I, too, love old cemeteries. They hold stories, memories, and love lost. The pictures are very moving, especially the smallpox epidemic.


      • Bekzat says:

        I had never heard about Decoration Day before. How fintitg of a title! I kinda wish they hadn’t changed it. It was very moving to be at a local parade yesterday and see just how many vets were in such a small little town. To watch each one ride by in their decorated car was a different experience for me this year. Each one of those men (again, small town, didn’t see any female vets!) fought for ME. They don’t even KNOW me. They don’t know my two little boys. But every single one of them had a dream in their hearts that every American deserved the right of freedom and they were willing to endure physical, mental, emotional and spiritual horrors in order to preserve that freedom. Countless men and women sacrificed their lives for me. Me! And they don’t even know me! They served me and every other citizen of this country, past, present and future, because it was the right thing to do. God bless them!


  3. I am now in my 70s and have experienced many losses. My feelings about these losses are not so entwined with cemeteries. But cemeteries I do enjoy! In Toronto they are almost arboretums and we used to take the children there for picnics and to collect chestnuts in the fall.
    I have wandered about amazing cemeteries as a youngster in and around Paris.
    In Nigeria, in the mid 1960s, very old cemeteries and their artwork intrigued me.
    I have visited cemeteries in Oklahoma as well.
    This year I visited a cemetery in Haiti…where cows and pigs grazed.
    Near our home in Ontario we have an old cemetery that is mostly for infants. This is harder for me. Like you, our family has lost a little one, a 14 month old – and I can’t imagine that much grief….
    My thoughts are with you at this time. I sometimes have wanted to pick up the phone and talk to my Mom…and so can easily imagine your chair near a family member’s stone.
    And so whether it is the carvings, the artwork, the rivers and trees or the calmness, each part of the world holds something special for their the bereaved.


  4. Peter says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May warm memories of your mother’s time with you bring some smiles along with the tears.


  5. I feel so bad that you’ve lost your Mom, especially so close to Christmas. I will pray for you.


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