Thursday, October 29, 2015

Meet Me in the Graveyard


Most people don't visit cemeteries unless they are attending a funeral or visiting the grave of a loved one, and most cemeteries are seen as scary places. Especially this time of year when haunted houses are in abundance and foam gravestones are set out on your neighbors front lawn. However, that wasn't always the case.

I remember learning in 6th grade history that cemeteries were once used as public parks and it was common to have gatherings, such as picnics, in graveyards. Later, I learned that this was mostly due to a lack of nature in cities, and, in many ways, cemeteries were the first city parks. I also believe that society's current view of death is different from our great grandparents' or great great grandparents'. The idea of death is much farther removed from our daily lives than it once was, so being in a place that represents death can be an uncomfortable or scary experience.

There is an old cemetery in Nashville that changed my mind about graveyards. In my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful plots of land in Nashville. I actually spent a lot of time there in college between classes because it was near by and it was quiet. It's interesting to read the inscriptions and try to imagine who the people were and what their lives were like here in Nashville 150 years ago. I realized that cemeteries don't necessarily represent death, but instead, honor those who have lived. 

Click HERE to learn more about the history of cemeteries.

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