Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oct 25 - Photo a Day - People

Bells Corners Union Cemetery

Resting in Peace

I love cemeteries... especially small, old cemeteries. There is a tiny one near my home (722 graves, according to the records) with many gravestones dating back to the 1830s. The names on some of the cracked headstones include those of founding families which adorn street signs across town. The grounds are well-tended, and there are even bunches of silk flowers on two or three of the graves. I find it a peaceful, fascinating place.

I know the location of only a small handful of family members' graves: my paternal grandparents, my partner's parents, and two second cousins, both who died far too young. While I know that many people derive great comfort from visiting their loved ones' graves, and I respect that greatly, for me the spirit of the deceased is far more present in places where we shared time or in quiet contemplation of cherished memories.

There is one headstone that I've had the honour of tending. It is a beautiful granite stone marking the graves of two people I would have loved to have met: my future parents-in-law. Last fall I spent a few afternoons there cleaning and re-painting the flaking letters, and thanking them for bringing such a wonderful man to this Earth. The serenity of those hours surrounded by crosses and angels, with only the sound of the birds and breeze has stayed with me.

Perhaps the reason I find such peace in these beautiful resting places is that each stone is a tribute to a person who was dearly loved. And even though each person is gone, all of the love remains.

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