If you ask most genealogists, they will declare their love for cemeteries. After all, sometimes it's the best chance at getting to actually touch a stone that was lovingly selected for that individual. I LOVE cemeteries. I love visiting even those that aren't the final resting places of my family or friends, but I passed the chance up to go to a cemetery today.
About three years ago, I was blessed to teach a genealogy class to the eldest girls of some friends I think the world of. They are the neatest family. We aren't afforded the chance to get together often, but we sure enjoy the time when we do. The girls at that time were in junior high and interested in finding out more about their family tree. I had just taught a class to our homeschool coop and revamped the lessons for a one on one class with the girls. The youngest, Kenzie, was especially interested and as shy as she was, would be ready for class each week with things she had found or questions about how to find more. Kenzie's enjoyment of the family search was thrilling to see and reminded me of my own start in genealogy. My favorite session was taking the girls to their nearby cemetery and we talked about cemetery symbolism and what clues you can glean from the stones. This was especially fun because the girls' grandpa was sextant for this cemetery. We even found a buried stone for a young girl, and I encouraged the girls to have their grandpa dig it up and re-set it. Their class was the last time I taught genealogy, and it was the most fun.
At the beginning of this year our friends found out, Kenzie, that sweet, precious girl had cancer. As a friend, and mother my heart ached for them. Today she was buried in that same cemetery we had such fun exploring those years ago.
Mookie had developed a severe headache this morning, and we didn't follow the funeral procession to the cemetery. But that would have been the toughest part for me because of the happy memory shared there.
Before today, cemeteries involved joy at finding a long lost ancestor, intrigue at wondering about an individual's story, and comfort during sadness at seeing family members' stones during a graveside service. Today, well, today my heart couldn't handle all the emotions that would have met me at that cemetery. I am glad that sweet girl is not suffering any more, but my heart breaks so much for those she left behind.