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Music In the Cemetery
Grief Journey, Holidays, Losing a Child

Music In the Cemetery

After we lost our son, we had no idea what we wanted to do in the way of a memorial/grave for his ashes/or ???

We sold our house, figured out how to retire early, and spent a few months wandering around the city we had relocated to (with our son) and had found little time to explore. One day, we explored a dead-end street near the university, and a For Sale sign beckoned us to a small private home up a steep driveway. It was empty, so we peered in the windows and yard and discovered a cemetery over the back fence through a private little gate. We called the realtor and told her to offer the full asking price, and no, we didn’t even need to see the inside. We felt fate (and our son) brought us here.

Now, this is not an ordinary cemetery. It is the oldest in the city and on the National Historic list. It is filled with old and new artistic gravestones, winding paths, beautiful wildflowers, and huge trees. It is owned by a private foundation but open to the public. The locals use it as a park.

We bought a family plot for all of us as we, each in our turn, will be forever. Our plot is literally 20 yards from our gate. We walk through the cemetery every day.

This weekend, Memorial weekend, we discovered that the foundation has a yearly celebration, and people come from far and wide to honor loved ones, veterans, and ancestors. At noon today, a bugler played America the Beautiful and Taps. Afterward, a young botanist from the university led a landscape nature tour. There was a scavenger hunt locating all the graves of the founders of our city, with children laughing and running the trails with their maps. At four, there was a concert by a brass band in the central meadow. People brought lawn chairs and listened as butterflies swooped and soared and the birds danced on tree branches above. It was amazing. The foundation calls it “Music to Die For”.

As much as possible, we smiled, we clapped, and we felt peace that this place is so beautiful and enchanting and that our son’s resting place (and ours when our times come) is joyful and filled with music.

Thank you for letting me share.

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Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »