Monday, December 3, 2012

A Cemetery Called "Hope"

Tonight is the last meeting of a class I've been taking at the Worcester Art Museum called "Documentary Photography", taught by Norm Eggert -- the same teacher who taught the "Night Photography" class I took a while back.

Tonight we present our final project, and I decided to do mine about Hope Cemetery in Worcester, MA, where the family of my husband Nick is buried--especially since I've been there recently for the funeral of Nick's sister Lillia and her 40-day memorial service in November.

Here are some (not all) of the photos I'm submitting for the project.

A Cemetery Called Hope

Hope Cemetery is the place where my body will be buried.  I like visiting and photographing cemeteries because they’re filled with virtual symbols of love, expressed in the words engraved on the stones, the flowers, candles, flags, toys, burning incense, balloons, statues, birthday cakes, prayers, rosaries,  letters, even bottles of whiskey and un-smoked cigarettes left by visitors on the graves.

All these things are an expression of the hope that one day we may be reunited with our departed loved ones.  No one knows if that’s true, but that’s why “Hope” is an appropriate name for a cemetery. 

The most moving tributes are those left on the stones in the “Garden of the Innocents” bearing the names of infants who died shortly after they were born.  Often these stones are the only record of these babies’ existence.  Although the burials are paid for by the city if the parents can’t afford it, some of these bereaved parents come to their child’s grave for decades and always leave a toy, flower or polished stone to mark their visit.    

No comments: