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Would you become a taphophile on Remembrance Day?

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).


There are many reasons to be a taphophile. Perhaps you like to visit cemeteries where famous people are buried. Paris's Père Lachaise cemetery, for instance, attracts more than 1.5 million annually. I was lucky enough to visit it with my daughter. “Visiting cemeteries on vacation helps me understand what the surrounding community values; it makes me feel more connected to people, to the past, and to life itself," says Loren Rhoads, the author of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel.


Some people visit cemeteries to find out more about the city, village or country they are visiting by looking at the names on headstones, trying to discern the immigrant origins of the residents, or imagine what circumstances led to the death of so many townsfolk each year. Surnames can also provide insight into the historical significance of the area.

"You always find a connection with our past incredible layering of meaning, history and narrative in a cemetery. It is important for us to be able to and in a cemetery garden we can remember our ancestors and their life stories." ."(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) The idea of connecting with our past is important. Perhaps we visit cemeteries to establish a connection to genealogy or to discover our ancestor’s final resting place.


Perhaps, in October around Halloween, you turn into a mini taphophile when you like to go on guided tours to “supposedly haunted cemeteries.”. Why not? I’ve participated in local events myself. The only time of year most people really pay attention to cemeteries is Halloween, and then, it’s to equate them with fear or evil or to search for lost spirits. By day cemeteries are peaceful, relaxing, parklike until twilight moves in, and nightfall meticulously folds over the landscape. The ambience transforms to reveal looming gravestones, gnarly tree branches and lurking shadows, whether real or imagined. The past lives of souls mingle in such a place so it is fitting that many people are drawn to cemeteries where so many fascinating stories lie left untold.


In November, here in Canada, you might also turn into a mini taphophile for Remembrance Day. On this day cemeteries get a little more love and respect, but it tends to be more about who’s in the actual graves, the historical significance, and not about the places themselves.


In conclusion, whatever your reasons for visiting cemeteries, you are in good company.


Sources

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

• 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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