Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Living thoughts among the dead...

I took a little stroll through a cemetery today. I hope that doesn't sound morbid, but I do find old cemeteries interesting.

Our summer residence is one lot away from a very old cemetery. If you had told me at the age of 15 that this is where I would enjoy spending my summers I would have said NO WAY! I wouldn't go near a graveyard. ( I guess I watched  one too many scary movies when I was a teenager.)

I have many people ask if it bothers me to be so close to a cemetery, and I usually answer with one of the following comments; "Quite the contrary, my neighbours are very quiet." or " Not at all, when I wake up in the morning and realize I am still on this side of the fence it give me a reason to be grateful and enjoy the day."

I have to say it is a very well maintained place. It is at the very end of a road that comes down the middle of a point of land so we have water on 3 sides. The local residents are very respectful of their ancestors. There is not a day  that goes by when someone is not down here placing flowers or watering flowers at one of the many grave markers, because this is a cemetery that still allows you to plant rose bushes, or flowers at the grave site even though it does make the job of maintaining the lawns a lot more labor intensive. It is almost like strolling through a garden or a park.

Some of the gravestones are almost 200 years old.

Look at the writing on this one;

 I cannot even begin to imagine the grief a parent feels to bury 6 of their 7 children before the age of 3 years old. Out of seven children, only one lived to adulthood. Obviously it must have been a genetic weakness and not a plague or sickness, because they were born several years apart. With all the advancements in medicine that would not happen today, but it breaks my heart for the pain those parents must have felt back then.

Have you ever read The Nine Lives Of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong? Very interesting read. Sally will be here at the local library/museum  for a reading and book signing on Sunday afternoon. Charlotte Taylor's gravestone is here at the Tabusintac Riverside Cemetery.

Visitors and tourists are always asking where they can see the gravesite of Charlotte Taylor, which prompted this sign.

There is quite a story behind this marker.

It belongs to an unknown sailor. I am told by one of the locals that many years ago a large boat/schooner  from down "Boston way" drifted in to the wharf area. all on board were dead. Quite naturally the ship was kept quarantined and eventually all of the bodies were claimed but one. The  body was that of a black  man. (quite possibly the cook ) There was a bit of an issue as to burying a "black man" in a white cemetery, but the "good Christians" of the community won out and his body eventually was put to rest in the lower corner of the local cemetery; sounds like a story for Oprah,doesn't it?

Many of the locals take their evening walk down this point road to the cemetery , and sometimes stop and sit on the benches and look out over the water or take a walk on the beach. I met an elderly lady who used to drive down here in the early eveings and sit and write in her journal. She told me she called her journal, "Living thoughts among the dead". which I thought was quite fitting.

I have to tell you this is the best spot in the community to watch the sun rise or set and I don't mind living here one little bit!

Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live. ~Henry Van Dyke

“Do not fear death... only the unlived life.

You don't have to live forever;

You just have to live.”  Natalie Babbitt

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