For my blog today I decided to visit the archives of my mind and step back into childhood…where my love for cemetaries began.
Yes, one may think this is a strange love. But there is a story behind it. Cemetaries to me have two sides: they are a place full of pain, loss and grief. But, they also are a place of peace, quiet and above all, a place of rest.
My love for cemeteries started with my mom. My mom, Pat, my brother, Dalton, and I used to visit cemeteries alot. Not necessarily because we were visiting anybody in particular, but because of the beauty they can hold.
There’s a cemetery in Wichita, Hillside Cemetery, that we spent a lot of time at. It’s a very old, well-developed cemetery. Our favorite places were the mausoleums and the old, very tall cedar trees that towered above them. The buildings were beautiful.
We used to go out to the older stones — the ones where you could no longer see who was represented by the lichen that was growing on the stones. This is where we would go with white paper and crayons and do rubbings. And all the sudden, most of the time, the person’s name and the date of their existence on this Earth appeared. They were given back their name. And for that moment a forgotten person was no longer forgotten. Of course, I didn’t think that deep about it as a child. But I sure do appreciate the memory now.
I don’t remember ever being afraid or “creeped” out about being in a cemetery…because mom taught us the other side of it. We did, however, learn how to respect cemeteries. To this day, I still have a hart time standing on the “wrong” side of the headstone. It’s just improper to me. I tread along headstones quietly, with reverence and with respect.
In some of my most stressful or painful times of life, I have retreated to a cemetery. I go there for the quiet. I go there peace. I go there to gain perspective.