I've never been into cemeteries. I mean, I've entered a cemetery before, but I've never been really interested in them. Some people find them alluring for one reason or another, but I never have. When I was a child I remember playing in a cemetery on Devil's night, but it was only cool because it was creepy (the memory that comes to mind is a particularly foggy Windsor night; the kind that I literally couldn't see my hand held out in front of me).
When I visited my mum in Charleston we walked through downtown and intentionally stumbled upon a cemetery there. I must admit that it was neat to see the history that it marked. Some of the people laid to rest there had been sleeping since the 1600s. But it was cool because of the history involved, almost independent of the cemetery itself.
Paris was different.
Pere Lachaise was different.
As soon as we entered the cemetery I was taken by the beauty and majesty of the place. It seemed as though the cemetery was a testament to life; that somehow it affirmed life instead of death. The monuments - so numerous that it was almost overwhelming - were absolutely magnificent. It reminded me that it truly was the final resting place for so many loved people. At one point Amanda and Courtenay were walking in front of me, and (as Courtenay so pointedly stated) they really were like kids in a candy shoppe. Almost as if it were planed they both veered off to a side like the Red Sea parting. It was a place that something would capture your undivided attention at every turn.
Even the way in which people honored the various residents of Pere Lachaise was quite interesting. Jim Morrison's admirers left flowers, beers, and smokes...
and some wrote notes on the tree nearby...
Edith Piaf's fans simply came and admired...
But it was Oscar Wilde's visitors that may have had the best tradition - to kiss his grave.
How we all should wish to live a life so endeared that we are honored after our time has passed in such a way.