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14 April 2009



I love The Graveyard Book. And seeing/hearing Neil Gaiman reading is just an orgasmic experience for the senses. I also grew up around old, tattered, and well-haunted New England cemetaries, one of which even had its own ghost patron (all the kids knew about her). But I've never spent much time actually within a cemetary's gates. (Read too many Stephen King books way too young)

Never thought of it as a reflective space. Thanks for sharing!


Again, you have painted a great picture. Keep it up.


This is really beautiful writing. I think I'll present this to my architecture students when talking about how to see/write about a place. Thank you for sharing it.


This was another lovely post...thanks so much, Chelsea.

I love graveyards. When I go to New Orleans I spend most of my time there during the days (and sometimes at one in the night...spooky). When my daughter and I went to Paris one time, four out of six days were spent in them- finding both famous people and unknowns, looking at the monuments to their lives.

I stop at graveyards during trips when I see that they have the old tombstones. I love how we used to honor our dead on the stones...small stories that captured this person in time, bringing them back to life, so to speak. As you said: whole families wiped out, perhaps one child and the father left behind. Or two brothers from Ireland who both drowned, one trying to save the other. I wonder about their parents back home, about their lives. How did the father and child carry on?

Now all we have is name and dates. So cold. So dead.

Thanks, again.


This is lovely. I, too, grew up in a Vermont Middle-Of-Nowhere, which makes it even easier to picture and soak up and get lost in. Your words are lovely :)

1st Republic 14th Star

If you want photos of this cemetery, let me know. I've traveled throughout the state taking pictures of the graves of prominent and not so prominent Vermonters. Odds are that if I haven't been to a particular site, I plan on going.

chelsea g.


Definitely. Thank you. I'll email you and give you the details. It's not like the Barre graveyards with their gorgeous Italian-carved marble angels, but it's home to me.

chelsea g.


Lovely post... I can very much picture the graves and doing the math because I myself have done much the same in my own Middle-Of-Nowhere graveyard. Thanks for sharing.

Oh, and by the way; Neil has linked to this, which is how I happened to arrive here in the first place.


I came across it after lurking on Neil Gaiman's blog too. Lovely post, you write beautifully. Thanks for sharing your memories :)

Billy Bones


Torsten Adair

Growing up in the Midwest, our small town cemeteries are far from town, usually overlooking a lonely county road or highway. There are a few trees, planted with as much care as the residents were, as the surrounding farmland is devoid of anything taller than a cornstalk.

Those that slumber were mostly common everyday people. A few might have an obelisk or some such statuary, but the majority have good solid granite markers. There are a few Civil War veterans, marked with simple metal markers planted like poppies, but even they are rare in a region so young.

I, too, do the math, and discovered during the funeral of a great uncle (named for Admiral Dewey) that I had an aunt and uncle I had never met, who had passed briefly through this world before leaving much too soon. I was prepared to meet unknown relatives at the funeral, but not quite like that!

Thank you for the landscape you painted. Many shuffle off this mortal coil, but I hope you dance with satisfaction when your lifetime is done.


Good work.


Lovely. I deeply dislike the modern trend of no markers or small flat markers in park like gravesites. Give me bumps and hills and weedy growths and sentimental carvings any time - personality (the dead had it when alive, why should they lose it to someone's modern aesthetics?).

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