Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I love them - but not for the reasons you would think. I find it peaceful to walk among the graves and read the names and dates of those that have passed away. I like to sit and create stories of what their lives were like when they roamed the Earth. Reading the quotes and inscriptions is the best part - I wonder how true those words about the deceased. It makes you wonder what will be inscribed on your own tomb and what people will think when they pass your gravestone. Will there be fresh flowers because you are visited everyday or will it be overgrown with weeds and dirt because no one remembers.

I say that I love cemeteries, but as I have mentioned it's not for reasons you would imagine - or if you could even imagine that one would love cemeteries. In saying this, yesterday was the first time John and I visited Hudson's grave site since Mother's Day and the first time we have been there since his marker was placed. (I can hear the gasps now.) We have our reasons - all of which could be listed below, but I have one major reason. I feel that Hudson is with me at all times. I can talk to him anytime or anywhere. His flesh is buried, but his soul is no where near that cemetery. So why - why go to a place that seeming immortalizes our loved ones? I know it's for respect and memories and a way to show tribute to those that we love, but what happens after everyone that remembers that person is gone? You are left with an unkempt grave with names, dates, and words.

It is also such a strange feeling seeing your child's name written on a grave marker. It fills you with sorrow and leaves you with an empty feeling. It is final - the end. Even before Hudson I never liked seeing gravestones for children - those left me feeling a sadness beyond sadness.

When we visit we always ask Hudson if he's made any new friends since we've seen him last as we look around for freshly dug graves. There were a couple of elderly women that have been buried there - one in February and one in March, but one caught our eyes. A 9-year old boy, Ashley Mosely that was killed in a car crash in August is buried diagonally from Hudson. I cannot help but wonder how it was to bury a child that you have grown to know and love while they grew and developed their own personality. I cannot help to imagine the hurt and pain his twin brother is feeling right now - knowing that he will never see his brother here on Earth.

So - I ask you. What do cemeteries mean to you and why do you feel the importance of having a place to visit your loved ones?


Holly said...

I spent one day when I was visiting Carleigh walking among the graves and reading the names and I actually counted the baby graves-I found 23 that I could make out. I don't know why I did that but I did.

When I visit the cemetery I don't really feel Carleigh there strongly but I like to go anyway. I take care of her grave b/c it's the only thing that I can really take care of for her. I just put new flowers up for fall and we took her a pumpkin.

I know her soul isn't there but her body is and that is all I ever had here on earth. I never got to meet her beautiful soul.

Toni C said...

I was at Bonaventure Cemetery just this past Sunday. I had to get out of the house for prospective buyers and, because I have my pup, I have to take him for walks or drives. Well, Sunday was a drive around kinda day. We drove over to Bonaventure and just enjoyed the peace, quiet, and stillness (is that even a word?). Bradley stuck his head out the window and took it all in… There was a recent burial of a soldier killed in Afghanistan and I ventured over to where he was buried. There were so many flowers surrounding his grave. I stopped and said a prayer for him and, of course, for the family he left behind. I actually got teary because it reminded me of Matt’s funeral and it made me miss him even more.
I love cemeteries because they are so quiet and peaceful. They are pretty much the only place I can think and have a clear head. I didn’t intend on getting emotional but in the day-to-day rush you rarely have time to stop and just have a moment. There were people walking their dogs along the Bluff and around the cemetery. Bradley enjoyed the car ride until he passed out in the back and we went home. It was exactly what I needed for my Sunday.

Henninger Family said...

Holly - I love all that you do for Carleigh's grave and I love to read about the times you and Kendra spend there. You have been such an amazing Christian woman through this entire experience.

Toni - I too think of Matt and become teary eyed when I hear of or run across a military grave site. I also think about Brent and Craig and I pray for their safety. Next time you are at Bonaventure look for Hudson - he is in the Forest Lawn section :)

Miche said...

You are the second one of my blogger "friends" to post this lately. I'm not a fan of cemeteries at all but I get how someone could be. We had MG cremated so it has actually been years since I've been to a cemetery.

Design A-Peele said...

I have to admit, I don't walk through cemeteries very often. They make me curious though about the lives they must have lead. exciting, lonely...I dread the day I have to go back.

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