Life and Death at the Key West Cemetery

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Sunning at the Key West Cemetery Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Sunning at the Key West Cemetery
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Key West Cemetery is probably the first one I visit recreationally. No relatives of mine are there. I hesitate: Is this okay? Just going in to look? Appreciating the stillness, the spookiness, the peace, the quiet, the flowers? Is it wrong of me to be there just gawking?

Must you know an occupant to visit a cemetery? Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Must you know an occupant to visit a cemetery?
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

I make that first visit in the early 1990s. In fact, I visit twice: once by day, the second by night, on a motor scooter, flying past roosters and drunks and graves. The world is a little more relaxed back then, not quite so fenced in. Graveyards by day, by night—they’re okay to visit, even thrilling. I learn we needn’t be so somber when contemplating the dead. It’s just the next phase.

The Key West Cemetery Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Key West Cemetery
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The animal tenants don’t seem to mind sharing their space.

Life at the Key West Cemetery Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Life at the Key West Cemetery
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

I keep making visits.

—Lori Tripoli

Appreciating the Key West Cemetery Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Appreciating the Key West Cemetery
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

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2 comments for “Life and Death at the Key West Cemetery

  1. C. C.
    September 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    My family has many final resting places in this cemetery. It is sad that over the years it has not been kept up and so many graves and markers have disappeared. Now I think the most disturbing thing is the iguanas. I saw them coming out of cracks in the concrete graves. They seemed to be around every corner. How sad that they have taken over this historical place.

    • BashfulAdventurer
      September 20, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you for commenting, C.C. I think that upkeep of cemeteries is a challenge in many areas. In my area, volunteers have gotten together to restore some of our historical cemeteries. Here is a link: http://friendsofbedfordburyinggrounds.org/

      It is unfortunate that a lot of history is being lost in old cemeteries.

      –Lori Tripoli

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