Sunday, June 3, 2012

Greenwood Cemetery

There is just something about cemeteries that is so intriguing and so inviting. At least for me.

Especially the old ones.

A week or so ago, my husband and I came upon a cemetery right in the middle of downtown Dallas. We had seen it before and planned to visit but the timing was never quite right and the entry to the cemetery is quite secluded, so we really didn't think about it too often. This time when we drove by, we decided to take a few minutes to check it out.

We ended up rambling around the shaded paths for a good couple of hours. Seriously, even though there were many trees, my bare shoulders were sunburned by the time we finally decided to leave.

And I think I've found my new favorite place in Dallas.

Greenwood Cemetery.

Even though with a quick glace above the trees, we could see the skyscrapers and condominiums of the city around it, inside the cemetery was surprisingly calm, peaceful and still. That afternoon, the light dancing through the trees had a magical quality about it.

We were the only visitors.

Greenwood Cemetery is old (at least by Texas standards) - founded in the 1875. There are plots set out for both Confederate and Union veterans of the Civil War. I don't see many Confederate graves up north where I am from, and I was a little surprised to see so many Union graves down here. However, after looking at the dates on the stones, I saw that most of the men had died twenty or so years after the Civil War ended, so I suppose it was okay to bury Union soldiers in a southern cemetery by then.

Some people find cemeteries spooky, uncomfortable or creepy. While I agree that some may turn a bit eerie at certain times of the day (or night), I've never felt uncomfortable in a cemetery. I love to wander through the rows, reading inscriptions and imagining the lives of the people who are buried there.

In middle school and early high school, one of my best friends and I would sit out in a cemetery, imagining and writing stories about the people buried in the graves around us.

I hope you don't find this morbid. I know some people may. But after all, cemeteries are made for visiting. Beautiful stones are made to be seen and creative inscriptions are made to be read. Cemeteries are made for the living. They certainly deserve respect, but I don't think they should ever be off-limits.

Greenwood Cemetery is the burial place of many of the leading citizens and prestigious families of Dallas. The names on our streets and neighborhoods and public buildings. So as you can imagine, there are many, many beautiful sculptures and stones.

It was so beautiful and peaceful. I found myself just breathing it all in.
This is the place I will head when I need to be alone with my thoughts. Typically when I need to clear my mind, I feel like I need to leave the city, and find some wide open countryside. Little did I know there was a place of sanctuary right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. I know I'll be back.

Do you have a place that makes you feel like this? (cemetery or otherwise)


  1. This post is fascinating!

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  2. Thanks for sharing, there are so many beautiful sculptures and stones.

  3. I love old pioneed cemeteries! We had one in our town when I lived in Missouri. It was left, on purpose, unlandscaped. It was in original condition with pararie grasses growing and old trees. It was facinating. Also, I used to go to another in the middle of LA at lunch time (when I worked there in a highrise.) It was so peaceful and beautiful, calming the stress of my day.

    1. Oh yes, I love the old pioneer cemeteries too. When I see a sign for an old cemetery I always have to stop. I especially love the ones out in the country, that look like they have been forgotten by time. A little bit sad, but sooo fascinating!

  4. There is a really interesting one in Cleveland-Lakeview Cemetary-many of Cleveland's notables ( and my in-laws) are buried there.

    1. I've never visited Cleveland, but if I ever do, I'll be sure to check it out!! :)

  5. So, I'm not the only person that likes to visit cemeteries... I'm living in Switzerland now and hier there are so many beautiful places like that, I love to go there and feel the peace that this places give to me... And like you said, cemeteries are made for the living, that's all!

    Nice post!

    1. Wow, Switzerland! I bet there are lovely cemeteries there! I've seen some nice ones in Germany and Austria but I've never been to Switzerland.


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