Cemetery Musings: Broken Stones

A musing is defined in the dictionary as “a product of contemplation; a thought”.  As I wander through cemeteries, I am often thinking about the stones above the ground and the individuals that lie beneath. Why that epitaph, that symbol, that style of writing? These are just some of the “cemetery musings” that cross my mind.

I’ve often noticed in cemeteries, whether well-kept or abandoned, there are always stones that find their way to a place they do not belong. For example, leaning against a fence or stacked in a pile. Where did they go? Who moved them? Why were they not returned to their rightful spot? Does the owner of the stone know they are gone, and if so, do they walk the grounds in unrest?

In a cemetery in Ipswitch, MA, stones were haphazardly stacked in a small area.  These homeless stones had been remanded to the “marker graveyard” that was ironically located in the center of the cemetery right next to someone’s ornately fenced in plot. The stones appeared to be in good shape, albeit away from their owner.  In another cemetery in Leominster, MA I spotted stones leaning against trees and fences.  Other stones were broken and crumbling, spreading pieces around the ground.

It has always bothered me to see these ownerless stones. Lost without purpose and leaving someone without a name or epitaph to let the world know they once lived and where they now reside.

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