Cemeteries are often portrayed as being scary or morbid. Most people do not want to step foot in a cemetery let alone spend time there. But if you have never spent time in their park like setting then you do not know what you are missing.
Being the daughter of a memorial designer, I have been to countless cemeteries over the years. I even got married at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. I understand why some are hesitant to go, but I have always found them peaceful, and I am not the only one.
Death was closer in the past
Did you know in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s people used to take picnic lunches to cemeteries and visit loved ones. It was an event. They did not go once or twice a year, but frequently and considered it a normal pastime. Photos of Woodland Cemetery in Dayton from the turn of the century show hundreds gathering at the cemetery to dine and relax. It was considered trendy at that time to dress your best and dine at the family plot.
This was partly a celebration to honor those lost loved ones. Since in that time disease and childbirth were the leading cause of death and families were losing young, loved ones, they would visit their graves not to grieve but to celebrate life and a way to feel close to their loved one. Other countries continue to partake in this tradition, from Central America to Asia many show respect for their ancestors by visiting their grave and breaking bread. They do not view cemeteries the way Americans do.
Be original and unique, visit a cemetery
Nowadays, you do not have to have a loved one buried at a cemetery to visit. More people have taken advantage of the paved roads and quiet scenery. They walk dogs and enjoy the flowers and nature. I love taking my kids there because they can get out and respectfully run around without the fear of cars or crowds of people. My kids really enjoy walking there and even ask to go walk at our local cemetery sometimes. During covid there was an uptake in visitors. It was the one place people could go and social distance and be outside. The doors were always open and welcoming while other places were closed.
So, what are you waiting for? The weather is nice, and a cemetery is the best place to enjoy it in peaceful, safe surroundings. I encourage you to break the stigma that cemeteries and memorial gardens have. If you do not know where to start, below are the top five cemeteries (in our opinion) in our area! If you have a cemetery, you enjoy visiting let us know by leaving a comment!
The most popular cemeteries to visit in the Southwestern Ohio area: