Dunedin Southern Cemetery

As odd as it may sound but I am one of those few that enjoy visiting cemeteries. Visiting the cemeteries are really no different to visiting a museum. In fact, I think it actually evoke more emotion in one than anything else. It’s always a mix sensation of lost, mystery, forgotten, eery yet somewhat peaceful in them.

Coming from an Asian background, I think I’m supposed to be superstitious about it. But, I am not. I actually quite like my walk around a cemetery. You just never know what you will find. I  enjoy looking at the tombstone design or the sculpture that the family once erected there. I examine their year of death and try to recall historically what might have happened in the world at that particular time. If I do find a famous name, I get all excited. Trying to create links to it. But, every now and then, I’ll find those abandon ones that just moves me. Reminding me how fragile life is and what matters is how one has lived. Because eventually as time passed, nature would just reclaims of what’s left. If lucky, one becomes merely a memory if not, we’ll just be part of the forgotten past.

Have you ever wondered why most people dislikes cemeteries or is it merely because we as human fear the conception of death?

In the psychologist Carl Jung essay, “The Soul and Death” (1934), Jung calls for a realization of the “curve of life” that permits an acceptance of death:

Natural life is the nourishing soil of the soul. Anyone who fails to go along with life remains suspended, stiff and rigid in midair. That is why so many people get wooden in old age; they look back and cling to the past with a secret fear of death in their hearts. They withdraw from the life-process, at least psychologically, and consequently remain fixed like nostalgic pillars of salt, with vivid recollections of youth but no living relation to the present. From the middle of life onward, only he remains vitally alive who is ready to die with life. For in the secret hour of life’s midday the parabola is reversed, death is born. The second half of life does not signify ascent, unfolding, increase, exuberance, but death, since the end is its goal. The negation of life’s fulfillment is synonymous with the refusal to accept its ending. Both mean not wanting to live, and not wanting to live is identical with not wanting to die. Waxing and waning make one curve. (pg.407)

So, what do you think? Something for you to ponder on ….

The fear of death follows from the fear of life.  A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.  ~Mark Twain

Additionally, below is one of the few cemeteries visit I had in New Zealand:

The Southern Cemetery in the New Zealand city of Dunedin was the first major cemetery to be opened in the city. The cemetery was opened in 1858, ten years after the founding of the city in an area known as “Little Paisley”.

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. ~Norman Cousins


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