Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so… John Donne
Having returned from a walk in the cemetery, my thoughts turn to death. Well, I am not thinking about death so much, but what people think about death. As a child, I was terrified about the thought of my own demise. I obsessed about how, when, and why this might occur. Fast forward 50 years, to today, I find that my attitude towards death is not one of fear. I have a good life, a wonderful family, and steadfast friends.
Walking in the cemetery has been a family tradition for a number of years. We moved into our house when our first son was 13 months old. The house is on a busy street not a block away from a large cemetery. Our custom strolling in the cemetery began very early in his life. The graveyard provided a place to walk with few cars as well peaceful surroundings. This particular site has majestic trees, lovely flowers, and at the time ducks. The cemetery provided a perfect spot to amble with our baby. I did not give it much thought that is where dead people resided. We referred to the walks as “going to see the ducks.” As the years passed, we continued the walks with our second son and many of the neighborhood children. From time to time, we even had picnics on the lawn. As the children grew, there were fewer walks through the local graveyard. But there were occasional bike rides, and the traffic-free roads provided a safe place for our driving novices.
Today, our sons are married and live in another city. However, my husband and I still enjoy a leisurely walk in the cemetery. The ducks are gone, but today we saw a great blue heron, and all sorts of wildlife, turtles, fish, dragonflies, and more. Now, some may find this practice creepy, but I enjoy a good walk in the park (errrr…cemetery.) How about you?