Bellefontaine Cemetery, Florissant, Missouri
Angels watch over the dead all over the world.
You’ve seen the statues… wings, solemn indifferent faces, flowing gowns. They’re beautiful, for sure, but I love finding human figures like these in Bellefontaine Cemetery in Florissant.
Maysie Walker Pittman, Bellefontaine Cemetery
Maysie stands calmly beside her own grave. She’s at ground level, life sized. You feel like you could walk up and put your arm around her shoulder. No towering plinth keepering her out of reach.
Gorgeous detail here.
The woman who mourns the Hobbs family, Bellefontaine Cemetery.
The poses and gowns are similar, but here the wife mourns her fallen husband. This widow made sure her husband was never left alone.
Another lady companion.
Companions like these aren’t as common as angels, so I love finding them. One of my absolute favorites sits in a little cemetery in Kansas, called Antioch Pioneer. Check it out.
Where’s your favorite?
Protestant Cemetery, Rome, Italy
The Angel of Grief – my favorite tombstone of all time.
This gorgeous sculpture by William Wetmore Story, weeps atop his wife Emelyn’s grave in Rome, Italy. William was the hottest American sculptor there from 1819 -1895. When Emelyn died, he poured his grief into this beautiful piece. It’s been copied all over the world, but none of the flatterers are as elegantly poignant as the original.
…or non-catholic cemetery, as the Italian name translates literally, is one of my favorites. I mean, you have to go to Rome to see it, so duh. A lot of famous people rest there, but it’s the not so famous and totally unknown, the quirky, the tragic the pathetic, the stunningly narcissistic, (see 30-meter-tall Pyramid of Cestius), that blend to give it its distinctive ambiance. Part English church garden, part first-century Roman ruin, this cemetery’s on the top of my MUST GO BACK TO list.
I always love Let’s Go Guides for European travel info. Unlike Frommer’s and Michelin, Let’s Go caters to students and travelers with small budgets. It’ll point you to the best eateries and coffee bars around the cemetery, the ones the locals hang out in.
I’m a tombstone tourist, not a historian or a genealogist.
There’s nothing I love more then wandering among tombstones.
Virginia City, Nevada
Graveyards settle me, balance my yin and yang.
Mount Vernon Cemetery, Atchison, Kansas
Have you felt it? All I have to do is walk through the gates, take a deep breath and all the hustle and bustle of my day seeps into the ground at my feet.
Cemeteries want us there. The dead crave visitors!
Mount Mora, St. Joseph, Missouri
That’s why the living spend so much money on beautiful tombstones. It’s why they write such lovely and interesting epitaphs. To woo us.
Give in. Get your feet-on-the-ground!
Don’t just drive by the awesome, little graveyards you see along the road. I found one in a grocery store parking lot once. They’re everywhere.
Stop the car. Get out. Take your camera. If the gate’s unlocked, go on in!
The pictures I’ll post on this site are all taken by me. I’ll tell you where I found each cemetery in the hopes that you’ll get in the car or hop on your bike and visit too.