|Snowy graves at Chapel Yard Cemetery, Inverness. Phone-cam photo by me.|
The full answer is a bit more complicated.
It is mainly because I do indeed find graveyards peaceful and quiet. Unlike public parks, they get very few visitors. Usually, I am the only person there, and I am unlikely to be disturbed, which gives me time to be alone with my thoughts and away from the rest of the living. I guess the fact that most people find them morbid, if not outright creepy, is one of the reasons that they remain a place of solitude. While I am an outgoing person, extended social interaction does tire me, and I need time alone to recuperate. Visiting a graveyard does not quite guarantee me brief isolation, but it is most usually solitary enough - some are more frequently visited than others, and I've been to a couple with paths straight through them and thus people using them as thoroughfares, but the Chapel Yard cemetery at the end of Academy Street in Inverness is at least not used as a short-cut, even if it is bordered by two busy and converging roads. Actually, considering its situation, it is surprisingly quiet, something which I attribute to the high walls surrounding it and the numerous trees, shrubs and hedges.
|More snowy graves, photographed by HouseCat|
|Interior of mausoleum, note extinguished torch|
carving on the far wall. Photo by the HouseCat
Death does not depress or frighten me; yes I wish to accomplish certain things before I am gone, but the fact that I will be gone does not upset me, and never really has. I don't believe in an afterlife, and my view on reincarnation is more that my soul will be recycled, and maybe the next thing I am made into will retain little flashes of me-ness, the way recycled paper sometimes has little bits of still-legible text or flashes of colour, but mostly that which makes me the person I am now will cease to be. These things have never scared me; it just seems logical that all things are born, die, and get recycled one way or another, even if its just the physical recycling of decomposition. Maybe this is why I am attracted to the Gothic; death does not terrify me, not even the prospect of my own demise, instead it just seems like another part of life, and therefore I am not put off the macabre, and if anything just as curious about it as I am anything else. Suffering frightens me, but not dying; being dead seems to mostly be awful for those left grieving in the absence of the deceased, and be merely oblivion for the one who has died. As such, reminders of death, such as graveyards and skulls, don't upset or make me miserable.
|Details of the graveyard, with interesting carvings.|
Photo by The Housecat, collage made in PicMonkey
Graveyards are also often rare green spaces in urban areas; especially those that do not come with much parkland, or come with parkland that is just flat grass for sports with little in the way of trees and shrubs. I often see a wide variety of birds, and sometimes animals - I often spot hedgehogs and squirrels in graveyards. Sitting on a bench and observing, or going for a quiet stroll, is one way I can get in my dose of "nature time" - something I need to keep myself grounded. For places associated with death, they are usually teeming with life.
I go to graveyards to find solitude, peace, perspective and life, and usually I find it in those places, even if they are places of death for others.