Headstones and heartbeats


Dominik Perez

Often reserved for mourning, cemeteries remain an underappreciated location in countless communities. The gorgeous stonework and groundskeeping put on display in graveyards possess no equal, and what better way to appreciate them than together with a loved one? Headstones and unmarked graves make up only a fraction of the beautifully macabre environment that makes for a perfect date setting.

Dominik Perez, Entertainment Editor

While cemeteries act as places of remembrance and mourning for the vast majority of the population, the rolling manicured hills spotted with tombs and tombstones can also serve as a beautiful backdrop for getting to know someone new. Everything from paying respects to the dead, speculating about the lives they once lived and just taking a stroll make for excellent ice breakers for you and your person of interest.

Whether romance or friendship serves as the driving force for this outing, its cost should serve as a selling point. The majority of graveyards remain open to the public throughout the day, and occasionally even into the night, so that friends, loved ones and visitors can come and pay their respects as they please. One can only compare the morose beauty of a handful of graveyards captured through Eastern red oaks, countless flowers, well-kept lawns and masterfully crafted tombstones, which serve as individual monuments of remembrance, to the most elite of art exhibits.

“There’s no place like a cemetery when it comes to aesthetics and beauty I think. I really love how it feels like people and nature are working together to create a peaceful place,” junior Linden Finney said.

The history and culture that resides in cemeteries feel nothing less than palpable. Headstones and gravesites can reveal much about a person in life. Their religion, class and family make just the tip of the iceberg of information visitors can glean from glace. Taking the information given and unraveling the mystery of these people’s lives makes for a great way to start a conversation or entertain one another while taking a moment to remember people who may no longer receive visitors. 

While one can easily find themselves enraptured by their gorgeous surroundings, respecting the dead and culture surrounding the graves they visit should remain prevalent factors during a trip. Making sure not to step on graves and avoiding any physical contact with a headstone ensures that the plots friends and family of the deceased spent fortunes on remaining pristine, and completely avoids the most egregious offenses to graveyard etiquette. Visitors should also pay close attention to their volume to remain respectful to others and to maintain a calm environment. Consider also bringing gifts such as flowers, candles, photographs and crystals to leave behind to honor the dead.

“It could also be fun for someone and their partner to clean the headstones, or to write notes and bring flowers. I never want to be forgotten, and I know that the people buried had that same thought before they died, so it’s sweet to spend time with them,” Hannah Cuthbertson said.

Cemeteries offer a quiet and reflective place to get to know someone new, and the commonly overlooked date sites can make for unique locations to craft distinct memories. Whether for a first date, picnic with friends or a mere walk with a family member, the graveyards provide an irreplaceable backdrop visitors will keep with them until they claim their own plots.