Finding peace and quiet in the cemetery

Key West Cemetery, Key West, FL Photo: (c) 2006 Wonder Dog Communications/Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

I was getting my hair done today and my stylist was joking about how her kids were driving her crazy. “Sometimes I think the only peace I’ll get is when I’m dead,” she laughed.

Ironically, I was thinking about that today, too.

For the last few days I’ve been taking the dogs to walk in a local cemetery. While we wandered around the tombstones, some of them almost 200 years old, I was struck by how peaceful it was in the park. I thought about what the people buried there might say about the cemetery if they were able to talk.

Which, of course, got me thinking, and I began to craft a little conversation in my head about the people we were walking by. What might they say about their life, their death, their time under the earth as the world continued on without them?

I imagined someone hearing a visitor walk by, wondering if they’re going to stop by their grave today. Maybe hearing my dogs sniffing around and missing their own beloved pup. Or crying out for justice, to no avail. Maybe not even realizing they’re dead, and arguing with everyone who goes by, upset no one will listen. Or maybe perturbed by our presence in the cemetery, our footsteps distrupting their peace and quiet.

I love walking through the cemetery. The photo above is from a 2006 trip to Key West. While everyone else was sunning and fishing, I spent a morning strolling around the cemetery, reading inscriptions on tombstones and wondering about who the people might have been in life. Everyone else thought it was creepy. I loved it.

Oddly enough, for a person prone to panic attacks I feel quite comfortable in the cemetery. We live near a lot of parks, and my husband said I should take the dogs and hike in the woods. But for some reason, I’m very skittish about being alone in the woods.  But the cemetery? I find it safe, peaceful and quiet.

Maybe because I’m alone, but not really alone. If that makes sense.

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2 responses to “Finding peace and quiet in the cemetery

  1. I just wanted to let you know that when your husband and his brother were very young I would take them for rides thrugh Mt. Hope cemetary . The small roads, up and down with all the trees, it was very peaceful and a trip back in history. Sometimes I would take them out of the car seats(such as they were then) and we would sit in the grass or they would try to climb on the rocks.

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