Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i love cemeteries

i know that sounds freaking weird, but it's true. what other place is filled with so much love and constant care? anytime i drive by a cemetery or go visit a friend i've lost, i'm always awe-struck by the beauty of my surroundings. how many colorful flowers and unbelievable plants are all around me. it truly is a beautiful thing. (random side note- bonaventure cemetery in savannah georgia has got to be one of the most stunning cemeteries i've ever seen in my life)

ever seen a cemetery at christmas time? oh my gosh- talk about unbelievable! people line the plots with candy canes and tinsel. mini decorated christmas trees sit next to headstones. so much time and love was put into decorating their loved ones place of rest, it's truly heartwarming. and so pretty. and you can't help but feel good when you look around and see all of that. and that's just it... each person buried there has someone who loves and cares about them. and it shows. all around you.

yesterday i went to visit a dear, dear friend of mine who was killed by a somewhat drunk driver almost 11 years ago (my god, has it really almost been 11 years? i can't believe it). there was an older man not too far away from where she was buried. he was sitting in a lawn chair. and he sat and talked to the ground. there was something on his lap, but i'm not quite sure what it was- although i swear it was a bag of peanuts and he was just chilling and eating his nuts. he watched me talk to michelle. he watched me lay the flowers i brought on the top of her gravestone. he watched me arrange them. and then arrange them again. and then do it one more time so it looked nicer. he watched me lie on the grass next to her and stare at the sky. and i watched him too.

i wanted so badly to go talk to him. i assumed he was spending time with his late wife. i couldn't help but wonder how often he came there? and then i wondered how long he would typically stay? i mean, he brought his own chair with him (which i thought was awesome and of course, it made me cry). i wanted to talk to him. i wanted to hear his story. i wanted to hear all of it. but i didn't. because it is a cemetery after all. and people are grieving. and how do you respectfully walk up to a stranger and hug him and then tell him to tell you everything? i wimped out and i KNEW as i was leaving that i would regret not talking to him. and i totally do. all i can do now is hope that the next time i go there, i'll get a second chance to have that conversation.

(i did sneak a picture of him- which is so not respectful of me, i know, but i couldn't resist. he was too awesome. i wonder if he knows whoever he was talking to was definitely listening. do you see that big glow in the picture?!?!?)

man at cemetery

michelle grave

21 comments:

The Stiletto Mom said...

That picture is awesome! I sort of have goosebumps. But in a good way!

Jenna said...

That's amazing. Gave me chills for sure.

I'm guess that he might have been curious about why you were there, too...

Cole said...

Now I'm all teary eyed. When I was growing up, my dad used to take me to the old run down cemetaries that are hidden way back in the woods. We'd sit there and he'd tell me stories about the people that he knew that were buried there. Sometimes I'd take charcoal and paper so I could do a rubbing of the headstone. I wish now I'd been smart enough to've recorded or written down those stories. My dad died when I was 14. Now I don't have the heart to go to a cemetary anymore.

Andie said...

wow.

I like cemeteries too. so peaceful.

I grew up surrounded by totally different cemeteries than most, as you know.

In New Orleans, our tombs are a bit of a work of art, in a way.

that is so sweet of that man, though. Makes me want to cry, because I've done the very same thing.

Sarah said...

That is sweet and sad. I hope you can talk to him someday. I am sure his story is wonderful.

Chibi said...

Serious goosebumps. Thank you for sharing; I'm sorry for your loss.

dan said...

I love that picture, Jennster!

I hope you do go talk to him and tell us his story.

Issas Crazy World said...

Next time, you should seriously talk to him. because Ster, he was probably sitting there trying to figure out how to talk to you too. I adore cemeteries. I walk around them and just feel better. Even when i go and visit the one where my friend is buried, I still think it's peaceful. I used to make rubbings of really old ones when I was little. The ones in New Orleans are amazing. Even more is watching a funeral there. (from the distance. So different than how we do it.

There is one in Texas, where my grandparents are buried that has been around for a few hundred years. Some of the statues are huge in there.

jennster said...

cole.. oh man, i am feeling for you. we don't think to tape conversations for prosperity, you know? hugs..

andie- oh man, i LOVE nawlin's cemeteries! nothing like them anywhere... they are gorgeous.

Alison said...

How sad that it was Christmas Day. Any day is sad, but oh man, that one is hard. I think it's so sweet that you go visit her. What an awesome friend you are. :)

Am I doing okay? said...

I'm bawling. I love how it says: We Adore You!

robyn said...

It's all to do with connections and the way we communicate with each other,especially our close friends and relatives.

We never really lose anyone so long as we have that connection we will always be able to bring them to us and they will be able to see us.

So yes why shouldn't a cemetary be a place of love, a place where our loved ones left this existence of physicality to one of ethereal existence, although it is our own physical link we have to remember that they live on in our existence in our minds and hearts.

However we too will one day embrace the great unknown or known depending on our beliefs and hopefully if others see us embracing and showing love to a place where our loved ones crossed hopefully they will understand and do the same for us.

We are all linked in this grand wonderful life that we are blessed with and we should embrace all of it with open hearts and open arms.

Ray

Jennifer (mom of four) said...

What a great photo!

Joe said...

That's an amazing picture...and a terrific story.

I love cemeteries too. They're so quiet and park-like and peaceful.

Your friend was far too young...and I'll bet that if the old man had taken a picture of you, there would have been a glow on the grass by your side as well.

Becky said...

yep i see the glow. totally cool.

Anissa Mayhew said...

What a lovely thing you did, spending the time loving your friend and remembering your relationship. I wonder what he was thinking about you, so young and the two of you sharing this space for this moment.

Loren said...

I'm sorry to hear you lost a friend so tragically. I love her gravestone, very beautiful.
I am a lot like you, everytime I go to a cementary, I look around and I read and see and cry...

Loren said...

I'm sorry to hear you lost a friend so tragically. I love her gravestone, very beautiful.
I am a lot like you, everytime I go to a cementary, I look around and I read and see and cry...

cat said...

that totally made me cry..........seriously. I love how you describe it all.

Smartass Milf said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27297941/

Apparently you aren't the only one.

Paige said...

I love a cemetary too--especially a military cemetary.

Glad I am not the only one