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  • janetgoncalves

If you want peace- go to a graveyard, locally or abroad.



I’ve posted blogs mentioning my love of visiting graveyards locally and when travelling. I’m proud to be a taphophile. We are often referred to as tombstone tourists, cemetery enthusiasts, or a cemetery tourist. The dictionary defines the term Taphophile as Noun. A person who is interested in cemeteries, funerals, and gravestones.” (www.yourdictionary.com/taphophile).


Articles have been written specifically encouraging people to visit certain cemeteries when travelling. A short list includes:

• Waverley Cemetery, Australia

• Okunoin Cemetery, Japan

• Merry Cemetery, Romania

• Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego

• Panteón Antiguo, Mexico

• Highgate Cemetery, England

• Neptune Memorial Reef, Key Biscayne, Florida

(Source: www.Canada.mag.com) Smithsonian


In Canada, another article highlights these as places worthy of a visit.

• Cemetery – Montreal, Quebec

• Ross Bay Cemetery – Victoria, British Columbia

• Beechwood Cemetery – Ottawa, Ontario

• Necropolis Cemetery – Toronto, Ontario

• Fairview Cemetery – Halifax, Nova Scotia

• MacLaren Cemetery – Wakefield, Quebec

• Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec

• Cataraqui Cemetery – Kingston, Ontario

• St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery – Winnipeg, Manitoba

• Notre-Dame-des-Neiges- Montreal, Quebec

(source: https://www.readersdigest.ca/Canad’s most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries worth visiting, by Daniel Reid updated August 6. 2019)


Cemeteries are places for mourning, and that must be respected. But cemeteries also have a history as recreational places, central to community life. In his study of American cemeteries, Keith Eggener points out that large cemeteries built in American cities during the 1830s filled a void later addressed by public art galleries and parks. They were places for funerals, as well as picnicking, hunting, and carriage racing.


This brings me to another reason why someone might be a taphophile- the beautiful landscaping. Although I haven’t seen any people picnicking nor hunting nor carriage racing in my local cemeteries, I have seen many people walking through them just enjoying the beautiful landscaping and serene beauty and perhaps even spy some wildlife. Even just driving by cemeteries you sense that they are quiet resting places for the deceased. The spaces are usually well-maintained green spaces.


A specialist in cemetery landscape design, Erik Lees thinks home gardeners can learn from a visit to a "graveyard garden”. As with all good gardens, Erik believes cemeteries need to provide a special refuge for contemplation and meditation as well as a place to find tranquility. This is achieved primarily by creating a calm, uncomplicated landscape where people can find stillness and silence. The contrast between the busy, bustling world outside and the church-like quietness and stillness in the cemetery is something gardeners should strive to achieve in their own private backyard landscape.

Loudon, a Scottish botanist and gardener, was figuring out what to do with city spaces decades before Frederick Law Olmsted would start planning out Central Park in New York City and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, or Daniel Burnham would transform Chicago during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. One of his greatest projects was creating cemeteries that any person could walk through and feel some comfort. Cemeteries are a place where those no longer with us are laid to rest, but they also provide solace to the living.


Cemeteries can be beautiful and peaceful. Many find wandering through graveyards peaceful and relaxing, a place for quiet contemplation. A graveyard is a place of quiet contentment that offers an escape from the daily grind and a chance to take stock. Sarah Biddlecombe (an award-winning journalist at Stylist) quotes “there’s something about stepping into a cemetery that slows my breathing and soothes my thoughts, making me feel calm all over. Some people enjoy a warm bath or a glass of wine to relax after work but being among the dead is the best tonic for me.” A similar sentiment, “Walking through monuments to the dead, in a quiet space in the middle of a city, always works like a reset button. “This is where I’ll end up eventually,” I tell myself. “It isn’t so bad.” is expressed by Jason Diamond, author of Searching for John Hughes.” After the death of his grandfather, Jason Diamond struggled to find peace. He was a self-proclaimed “sensitive and often sad kid on the verge of becoming a teenager, and the mix led me to have a breakdown before my thirteenth birthday. He tried many things to overcome his depression. “Going to cemeteries became my therapy. Graveyards became my refuge.” Jason Diamond in his article “If you want peace go to a graveyard.”


In conclusion, taphophiles and cemeteries don’t deserve the bad rap they are often given. Cemeteries lure visitors to a combination of natural beauty, notable residents, and even wildlife. If you search Facebook, there are many cemetery-centic groups and pages and is becoming a growing subculture. So, the next time you drive by a cemetery, look at it from a new perspective, as there is truly more than meets the eye.





sources

https://amp.theguardian.com Cemeteries are peaceful, open spaces – they can be for the living too by Katherine Feeney, Sat 25 Jun 2022

https://www.stylist.co.uk/travel Why I love graveyards: peaceful spots for quiet contemplation by Sarah Biddlecombe

• www. savingplaces.org/stories “10 tips for researching historic cemeteries and burial grounds” by Sarah Heffern

https://thewackywanderers.com/ Why do you like cemeteries are you a taphophile? Posted by Diane Kaylyn Neldon Brians on October 21, 2018


https://www.smithsonianmag.com/World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries A visit to these hauntingly beautiful cemeteries illuminates more than just mortality by Lanee Lee, Travel + Leisure, October 22, 2014

https://catapult.co/ If you want peace go to a graveyard by Jason Diamond, Oct 31, 2017

https://www.readersdigest.ca/Canad’s most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries worth visiting, by Daniel Reid updated August 6. 2019

• https://elac.ca/Peaceful places At rest: Erik Lees feels that the sacredness of a cemetery can translate to a regular garden The serenity and reverential tone of a cemetery garden can be an inspiration to all gardeners Steve Whysall Vancouver Sun Friday, March 01, 2002

https://bonesdontlie.wordpress.com/2014/09/09 “Cemeteries peaceful resting places or competitive interactive arenas” September 9 2014, by Kate Meyers Emery

• www.gadling.com Stressed out? Try walking in a cemetery by Laurel Miller on Sep 18, 2012

https://creativeloafing.com/ 5 cemeteries to revitalize your southern gothic By RODNEY CARMICHAEL Friday May 1, 2015

https://amp.theguardian.com Cemeteries are peaceful, open spaces – they can be for the living too by Katherine Feeney, Sat 25 Jun 2022

https://www.stylist.co.uk/travel Why I love graveyards: peaceful spots for quiet contemplation by Sarah Biddlecombe

• www. savingplaces.org/stories “10 tips for researching historic cemeteries and burial grounds” by Sarah Heffern

https://thewackywanderers.com/ Why do you like cemeteries are you a taphophile? Posted by Diane Kaylyn Neldon Brians on October 21, 2018


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