Observations from Grave Walking

I went home (home being a relevant term) to visit my Dad for Thanksgiving. As part of my activities, I went to the downtown library and found my great-grandparents’ obituaries. It was my first time using microfilm (which is easy!) since we have not been taught practical skills like that so far in library school.

Anyways, I drove up to this section of the cemetery that I had not explored before. The day was just cool enough that I had to keep my coat buttoned up but my bare legs under my dress did not suffer too badly. I tried to go across the rows from end to end, but the lines were not straight. At some places the second row would jut forward like a six year’s adult tooth that pushes the remaining baby teeth out of the way. Except these were tombstones! I ended up mentally dividing the cemetery into three columns and I worked my way down each one in turn. Sometimes I’d overlap since the cemetery was so disorganized. Now onto my observations:

  • In order to read two rows of tombstones at once, you have to get right next to one of the line of stones. This means that for the older graves, every few steps your entire body sinks down as you step down onto a collapsed grave.
  • Collapsed graves refers to caskets which have collapsed.
  • 1/5 of the stones in this (relatively young) cemetery are unreadable.
  • Several stones had been broken in half and then the top sat on the ground and leaned back against the bottom portion.
  • Don’t put carved lambs or cherubs on tombstones. The heads will wear away and make it 10x creepier.
  • Give babies names. Being known as “Baby ____” for all eternity is depressing.
  • Some of the tombstones had been roughly carved with a simple name such as Dr. Such Andsuch.
  • Metal tombstone markers from the mid-1950s lose their plates. I picked up one Ms. Cora’s date plate and returned it to her.

After a fruitless search, I got in the car and drove to the next portion of the cemetery. When I got out, I turned to look back only to realize that was a completely different cemetery! >_< Who puts two cemeteries immediately across from each other on a two-lane country road?

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