If you enjoy visiting cemeteries, you might be surprised that there are so many around the world to explore. More than final resting places, they are often the only green spaces for miles around. They’re also touchpoints for the community, serving as public parks, sacred spaces and even tourist destinations.
Planning a trip sometime soon? Consider this list of notable cemeteries when making your travel plans.
- Père-Lachaise- Paris, France: Established by the emperor Napoleon in 1804, this cemetery is interesting primarily because of all the people who are buried there. The list of who’s who includes writers (Balzac, Proust, Richard Wright, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, and Alice Toklas); singers (Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison); artists (Delacroix, Ingres, Modigliani, Corot and Seurat) and composers Chopin and Bizet.
- Merry Cemetery- Sapanta, Romania: The hundreds of graves at Merry Cemetery are painted blue, adorned with a carved oak cross, and decorated with a scene depicting the life of the person who has died as well as an accompanying poem. The carpenter who carves the markers also composes the poems — and some of these even contain jokes.
- St. Louis No. 1- New Orleans, Louisiana: The water table in New Orleans makes above-ground tombs a must, and this beautiful property feels like a city of white-washed crypts. Some have statues, some feature wrought-iron gates, and one hosts the cemetery’s most famous resident: 19th-century voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.
- La Recoleta Cemetery- Buenos Aires, Argentina: This major tourist attraction in Argentina’s capital city is surrounded by a wall and filled with elaborately carved tombs and Italian statuary, making it resemble a city within the city. It was founded in 1822, and many famous people are buried there, including Eva Perón.
- Old Jewish Cemetery- Prague, Czech Republic: Used continuously from the beginning of the 15 th century until 1787, this cemetery is unusual in that it expanded upward rather than spreading out. It’s estimated that 100,000 people are buried there, but with 12,000 tombstones on top of all the others.
- Highgate Cemetery- London, England: Highgate feels as much a nature reserve as a final resting place. Trees, shrubs and flowers grow wild, sheltering native wildlife including foxes. Monuments date back to 1839 and mark graves of such notables as George Eliot, Karl Marx and Malcolm McLaren.
- Bonaventure Cemetery– Savannah, Georgia: Notable for being featured on the cover of John Berendt’s best-seller, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this lush cemetery was once a plantation. There are 100 acres to explore, with southern Gothic-style tombstones amidst ferns, flowers, dwarf palmetto, and long moss trees. It’s beautiful and haunting, and well worth taking a walking tour or just exploring on your own.
- Waverly Cemetery- Sydney, Australia: Many famous Australians are buried here, but the best part of the Waverley Cemetery is its cliff-top view. The cemetery, which opened in 1877, sits on 40 acres overlooking the South Pacific.
Like those listed above, Evergreen is in a category of its own. The cemetery’s rich history began in 1907 when burials inside the city were prohibited and many from the main cemetery were relocated. Today, Evergreen hosts many of the pioneers who settled this area.
There’s a perception that end-of-life costs are higher in the United States than in other countries. But while end-of-life care and funeral arrangements are expensive here, they are comparable to Europe and Canada. Without careful planning, however, these costs can still be a burden on families.
Fortunately, it’s possible to be proactive and cut costs.
- Don’t avoid talking about death. It can be a difficult topic, but death is something families should discuss. If your family is well informed about your wishes and kept abreast of important information and where it’s stored, they’ll be better able to manage your end-of-life arrangements, saving time and possibly money. If you take the next step by preplanning well in advance, you can knock down costs by locking in today’s prices for a future need.
- Talk about what would happen in case of illness or accident before it happens — and prepare an advance directive. When your loved ones know when you would want to let go, they can make better-informed decisions. Medical care is expensive, so make sure they know if there are measures that should be taken to extend your life.
- Ask questions of your loved one’s doctor. Sometimes, families can be overly optimistic about costly treatments that they think will prolong a loved one’s life. If you are caring for someone who is ill, ask the physician to tell you the truth of what you and your family are facing.
- Talk to others who have been down this road. People who have been through what you’re going through now may be able to answer some of your tough questions. Which interventions are helpful, and which are not worth the cost and the trauma? It depends on the illness and condition of the person at the end of his or her life. CPR, for instance, is a life-saving measure, but it can also cause blunt-force trauma in elderly patients — and studies have shown that only 6% of cancer patients who receive CPR recover enough to leave the hospital.
- Don’t be afraid to shop around for palliative care. Some palliative care and hospice services are covered through Medicare. Others can be quite expensive. Be an informed consumer, and thoroughly research your options before making a commitment.
At Evergreen, we understand the importance of making good end-of-life decisions. Call 520.257.4831 to learn more about all we have to offer.
When you think of funeral music, what comes to mind? It may be hymns and other traditional pieces, but it doesn’t have to be. Some religious services require that song choices be specified, but in most cases, you can choose whatever moves you.
You can also choose interesting instrumentals. Just as song choice is typically fluid, there are many options for musical performers at a funeral, including:
- Harp: Harp music has an ethereal, serene quality that makes it a soothing and comforting choice for a funeral. This ancient instrument is well suited to classical music, religious music, or anything that’s peaceful and calming.
- Strings: Classical music, whether played by a string trio, a quartet or a chamber ensemble, can be very comforting and peaceful. It can also be stirring to elevate the mood.
- Bagpipes: Bagpipes have long been a traditional funeral option for dignitaries and first responders. The music is unusual and the mournful, haunting sound is well suited to a funeral.
At Evergreen, we offer various musical options including bagpipes, a string trio, and a harpist to help create meaningful, life-honoring ceremonies. You can also choose special music for a loved one’s funeral or preplan for your own future needs so that the music you love will be featured. Choosing your own music, readings, speakers, displayed mementos and special services will help reflect your personality and the life you’ve lived.
At Evergreen, we understand the importance of end-of-life arrangements because we’ve been helping families make them for more than 40 years. Serving families has always been our focus, and we take pride in guiding them through a difficult time in their lives.
Call 520.257.4831 to talk about preplanning and inquire about our Signature Services℠.
When someone has suffered a loss, it can be helpful to have positive words to contemplate and perhaps to lighten our spirits.
Daily affirmations have been shown to be beneficial in many ways. Meditating on positive thoughts each day can help you put your problems into perspective and look at life in a more optimistic way. Recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston shows that optimistic people are at a reduced risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events. In a way, you could say that daily affirmations are good for your health.
Of course, it’s hard to think positively when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s why it’s good to have a support system in place with people who will lift you up and help you through this difficult time. If you need a bit of extra support, Evergreen is here to help.
Our online grief support is available 24/7 so you can access online counseling services, join in grief support or watch interactive videos.
We also invite you to sign up for our Letting the Sun Shine In daily e-newsletter full of affirmations and gentle reminders of the recovery process. We know you’ll have good days and bad days, times when you need help and times when you can see better days ahead. Through it all, we want to be your daily companion.
At Evergreen, our focus has always been to serve those who are grieving. We feel it is our privilege to provide support to people who have suffered a loss and help guide them through a very difficult time in their lives. Whether you’ve recently lost a loved one or are having trouble finding the positive side of life, we’d like to be there for you. Subscribe to our daily newsletter or call 520.257.4831 to learn about all the services we offer.