Posts Tagged ‘Tombstones’

Merry-cemetery-Sapanta-RomaniaIt’s a few days before Halloween which conjure up all sorts of macabre images, especially those of creepy cemeteries.  I am not one of those people who are repelled by the thought of cemeteries and I am sure I have mentioned my fondness for cemeteries on this blog.

I’ve always been attracted to the peacefulness of them, the shape of the stones and the names inscribed on them.  I try to imagine the lives behind those stones and names, trying to somehow connect with their essence.  I even speak to them sometimes, especially those that I know or those who have become my favorites in the cemeteries where we regularly walk.  For instance, I always say hello to one couple with  what I consider  wonderful names– Arthur and Flora Greengrow.

Grim Reaper Figure at Base of Tombstone

Grim Reaper Figure at Base of Tombstone

While many of us here are scared a bit by cemeteries, there are place where that is not the case.  There is, for example, Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, Romania.  It is filled with brightly colored wooden tombstones that are carved with a sometimes humorous limerick and naively painted images depicting the deceased at work or play .  Sometimes, however, the stones show how the person died.   These images can be a bit gruesome but even then there is a lightness about the tombstone.  You see, they are aligned with the Dacian culture which is associated with the Zalmoxian religion which has a differing view on death compared to most, seeing it as a moment of great joy filled with the anticipation of the better life that is waiting.

With the bright blue tombstones and descriptive and often humorous limericks  ( there is a very funny one about a woman where the  voice of the limerick is her son-in-law who hopes she is happy now because he doesn’t want her back), Merry Cemetery has become a worldwide tourist attraction with crowds traveling to see the 800-some tombstones.  I guess it’s always a Happy Halloween in Sapanta.

Here a few views of some of the tombstones:

Merry Cemetery Tombstones  Romania

Merry Cemetery Tombstones Romania

Merry-Cemetery-Romania- Tombstones showing means of death

Tombstones with a boy drowning and a girl being hit by car

Merry-Cemetery-Romania- Young Man being hit by train

Young Man being hit by train

Merry-Cemetery-Romania- Decapitation Tombstone

Decapitation Tombstone From WW II Era


Top of Tombstones, Merry Cemetery

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I’ve always been a fan of graveyards, a fact that I’ve proclaimed here in the past.  The monuments and tombstones are an unceasing source of fascination, both in the data provided and the design of the stones. 

 So you can imagine how happy I was to stumble across a relative who also has a great tombstone.  Such is the case with this particular stone, one that marks the grave of my tenth great grandmother on Martha’s Vineyard.  Died in 1726 at the age of 83.  Her name was Hephzibah Doggett who was married to John Eddey.

Hephzibah Doggett.  Got to love that name.

   Before I started venturing into genealogy a few years back I had no idea of any family before the last two or three generations, and even then the history was sketchy at best.  On my mother’s side, it was almost non-existent.  So, to turn previously unturned pages in the family history is exciting and gives a new perspective on how we arrived at this place.  It also provides an opportunity to imagine how the thoughts and mind of a person like Hephzipah relate to your own, to wonder if their eyes saw things in a way that I could understand.

Of course, I will never know the answers to such questions but at least I know that she existed and has left a wonderful monument as her marker on time.

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