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Cemeteries & The Dash

Cemeteries are one of those places that are fascinating, scary, and can be reminders of unpleasant times in our lives. However, if you aren’t visiting one on a dark and creepy night, or visiting one for personal reasons, they are interesting places.

The most thought-provoking cemeteries I have visited were in Halifax, Nova Scotia. These cemeteries housed the victims from the Titanic tragedy. I took many photographs of the different headstones and their epitaphs, but the one that was the most poignant was that of the Unknown Child.

I was touched by the numerous toys and other trinkets left behind by visitors to that particular grave. In 2011, the Unknown Child was positively identified and I found it comforting that this little soul finally had a name. When I wrote Promised Soul, the experience of my visit worked its way into the storyline.

I don’t make a habit of visiting cemeteries, but when I do I take the time for a little stroll up and down the aisles. I read the headstones, search for the oldest, and find myself wondering about the people mentioned in the epitaphs. Everyone has a story and it’s all packed into that tiny line between the date of birth and death. There’s a beautiful poem called The Dash, by Linda Ellis and it has inspired millions. When you read it ask yourself – are you living the dash?

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