Everyone Should Go Gravehunting

Trigger warning – If topics relating to death bother you, you may want to skip this blog post.

For as long as I can remember, cemeteries have fascinated me. I like to walk around them & read the monuments. I sorta picture an underground grid…. Go ahead. Call me a weirdo. I don’t care! Lol But if you will admit it to yourself – you think they’re very thought-provoking too.

I just think its facinating that all those people in the ground know something that we don’t, & that one day we will all be just like them, unfortunately.

Is it uncomfortable to think about? Sure is.

But it’s worthwhile to think about. Thinking about death & coming face to face with it keeps you grounded in your mortality & helps you appreciate life while you have it here. I told my husband just last week that if I died tomorrow, I want him to get a burial permit & bury me in a clearing in the woods somewhere. I think the coolest thing in the world is when you are walking through the woods & come across an old, forgotten cemetery out of nowhere. I wan’t to be a part of someones cool adventure someday. The uncomfortable truth is that we will all be totally forgotten after a couple of generations – then the only way anyone will know anything about you is by what they find attached to your person on!

Tombstones are coming a long way now. When I worked in funeral service, a small business owner came by to bring us samples of QR codes that could be attached to tombstones, & set up to be scanned by your phone & bring up a webpage with photos, writings, & videos of the person. It was flippin’ awesome.

I once saw a tomb that had on it a huge list of all the dead woman’s accomplishments. I’m talking this tomb was covered with them.. and you know what I said to the person beside me?

All that mess & she’s still dead.

Pardon the bluntness, but it’s true. Lol. Death is the great equalizer.

I saw another tombstone once that said, “No record of birth or death,” & I thought to myself how sad that was. This was not an old stone either. The fact that there is no record of that person’s death means they were probably unattended when they died & not found until long after, or something really bad happened to them. What’s even sadder is no record of their birth being known by anyone. Apperantly they didn’t have a drivers license, birth certificate that could be recovered, or any family that even knew what it was. I always wonder about that person’s story & what it must’ve been.

I’ve seen one for a little girl that said “In life, how fair. In death, how beautiful.” That is haunting.

I also think it’s interesting when the stones tell how they died. I’ve seen one before where it told that the person was bitten by a rattlesnake, & I’ve seen another that specifically told of mom & baby being in the same casket, & another that said a tree limb fell on them.

I’m not the only one around that likes to grave-creep. Lol. My grandparent’s like it too. They even went to the Titanic part of that cemetery in Nova Scotia & took photos of some stones there for me. After my grandpa was bound to a wheelchair, one afternoon I went with them to a cemetery to look around – when all of a sudden, a thunderstorm hit out of nowhere & it started pouring heavy rain. My grandpa was stuck with the dog under a tree in this storm, helpless, and when we tried to run back to him, my grandma FORGOT HOW TO RUN. LOL She looked like a turtle running, & it was hilarious. Thankfully, I got this mishap on camera. My grandpa has since died, so I keep the video close & laugh every time I see it. My laughter is horrendous. Lol

I’ve seen some cool names too! Long forgotten names… Names like:

  • Americus
  • Melmerrith
  • Rashaw & Ashaw (twin brothers)
  • Lodemia
  • Etheldred
  • Lucrecy
  • Asenath

Now for the morbid-ness: People have asked me if embalmed people last forever. My answer is they do not last forever, but can last a long time. It depends on the conditions how long a body lasts. Some bodies can be in the ground for 50 years, & when they are exhumed, still look remarkably recognizable. Others are only skeletal remains. Some are just black dust. It really depends on soil characteristics, ground temperatures, embalming chemicals, how they died (believe it or not), vault seal, & many other factors… No one can say for certain how long a body will be last once it is in the ground. Most people I would say are still recognizable at 10 years in the earth in the United States – again, depending on the factors mentioned above. There is a video on youtube that shows a man being exhumed in another country after 15 years, & he looks great. I won’t link it here because it’s not for the faint of heart. I found it to be amazing, but I respect the boundaries of others on this topic.

I managed a funeral home office for years, & I loved every minute of it. Were it not for health insurance woes, I would have never left that job. It was more than a job – it was a ministry that is a rare gift to find. Not everyone can handle at job like that. I helped do everything from type obituaries, to dressing the dead. It was an amazing experience that helped settle many things in my mind about death. I’m not as afraid anymore as I once was – but I still don’t want to die. Lol

As a Christian, walking through cemeteries provokes a lot of questions for me, questions like:

  • What will our glorified bodies look like in heaven? If my grandpa’s body is glorified (no longer sick, etc) – how will I know him? Will he be recognizable to me?
  • How freaky will it be when all these bodies rise up first during the rapture?

If you want to have a very interesting time, go on a grave-huntin’ trip… Take someone with you. Talk about things like this. Laugh about things. Cry about things. It’s worthwhile, fun, & interesting at the same time.