I have a fascination with cemetaries.
I know it’s a bit morbid, but you learn so much about people who are long gone by how they honor their loved ones. Sometimes, you see their sense of humor in a glib epitath. Sometimes, you see the tragedies they never recovered from by the carefully chosen poems they leave engraved in stone. “Beloved wife…” “Gentle angels…” The prayers they leave expressing their desire to meet again in the afterlife can bring me to tears.
The writer in me is always inspired by the heavy spirits that linger around the carefully kept grounds.
This weekend I trekked through the Mount Holly Cemetary in Little Rock with a group of writer friends from the Diamond State Romance Authors. Take a peek at some of the things that moved and inspired me.
The daughters of this couple arranged this monument. Not an angel, but a woman sitting by herself and looking very sad. Maybe the daughters thought of themselves and their long wait to see their parents again.
The inscription here gave me the chills! You know it’s going into a book somewhere along the way. In case you can’t read it, this is what is said:
Ever near us tho’ unseen
Thy dear immortal spirit treads
For all the boundless universe
is life—there is no dead
This one was the saddest and most tragic. A husband was buried many years after his young wife and two daughters for whom he had commissioned these statues. The little girls names were Martha and Pearl. Inscribed in their headstones was “Papa’s Baby” and Mama’s Darling” for Little Martha, and “Papa’s Sweetheart” and “Mama’s Pet” for Pearl.
The sentiments had me tearing up, but once I took the picture of the little girls with the robed woman, I realized it looked as though the woman was striding right at me. Got me to thinking…
These are my sisters in crime. If you’re a writer, little field trips like these help “fill the well.” I can’t wait for the next one. I already have scenes playing in my mind set in a graveyard with rustling trees and furtive sounds around me. Yeah, I’ll have nightmares, but I embrace them!