I don’t know if it’s just a way to honor people that have lived on this earth, or that I like the feeling of being mortal because it makes each day have a level of importance… that there will be an end to this life, that walking around old headstones creates a sense of urgency, a sense of nostalgia, a mystery of someone’s life that I know nothing about and yet what someone does matters to some people, even if it’s only just a handful, but then they’re buried and gone.
I can’t quite put a finger on why I like walking around cemeteries like this one. But I do. This one is situated southeast of Nashville, near a suburb called Mt. Juliet. Most dates began in the mid-1900s and ended later that same century, but a few were dated even farther back, and those are typically my favorites. Check out the one that says “Bone Head.” What a nickname. And then there’s one person who shares my birthday, December 26. That’s really awesome. And the N’s are backwards, but it’s charming.
Some barely missed making it to their next birthday. Some were not even 3 years old. But at least at this particular cemetery, there are lots of same last names. Even in death, family matters. Love matters. The dates are important, too, but I wonder how their lives were improved and made amazing by the family they had, the family they loved.
-Out of the Wilderness