Call me crazy, but I like to poke around graveyards. When Jonathon and I went on our second honeymoon in Ireland, England and Scotland, we had a blast checking out all the dead people. It became a running joke about how the dead people and sheep had all the best views in the country.
But joke or not, I really enjoyed wandering around and looking at things. For me a graveyard isn't a spooky place, though I'm sure it can be. Instead it's peaceful and filled with the memories, longings and the life forces of those who've gone before us.
I've traversed graveyards in the USA where there is little more than a stone to mark the fall of Custer and those who were unfortunate to die with him. I've sat in the shade of a spreading oak tree next to Benjamin Franklin's grave and pondered all that he gave his people. I've wept at the tomb of the unknown soldier and left a rose at Kennedy's grave. I've visited hundreds upon hundreds of graves of the "common man". Those who lived and loved and finally died doing the normal ordinary things we all do.
I've stood literally on top of Darwin's grave and left flowers for Princess Diana. I've visited other royalty, stood in their musty crypts and shook my head over the custom of burying people right beneath my feet as I kneel and pray. One of the most emotional things I've ever done was stand in the ruins of Pompei and see the ash hardened bodies of those that died in the fury of the nearby volcano. There are no graves per say, but the death you see there isn't something you ever forget.
Here in Macau as in most of China, the graveyards are like mini cities. They have small boxes in stack that we call "condos", regular tombstones, and family grave sites the size of a small apartment. The bigger ones come complete with picnic tables so you can have a snack while talking to Grandma or play a little mahjong while chatting to Uncle Chin. A little weird if you ask me, but hey, my idea of a great ceremony is a funeral pyre complete with dancing. Or getting sent off to eternity by having my boat lit on fire.
It's not like I have a fascination with death or anything. I like being alive too much. But the choices of how to spend the afterlife have always amazed and intrigued me. Some day I'd love to visit the pyramids and see the ancient tombs there. Another on my to do list is Greece where I can visit the ancient temples and see how they lived and died. I'd love to have enough money to spend an entire year touring nothing but all the ancient sites, graves and churches. For me that would be a slice of heaven without actually having to die to get there.
Are you into graveyards or something equally weird and fascinating? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!
See you next time!
Follow Your Dreams