Why I’m Obsessed With Cemeteries

I have a weird new habit guys, and I’m going to tell you all about it because my wife can’t stand hearing about it anymore :)


<<< There, I said it! >>


  1. They’re so peaceful! Thousands of people there and no one talking!!
  2. They make you appreciate the crap out of living. Because spoiler alert: everyone in the cemetery is dead, and YOU are not. (Yayy!)
  3. They make you realize just how insignificant you (and your problems) really are.  Everyone there had their own dreams and goals and challenges, all to still end up under ground no matter what they did or didn’t do (and all of which is lost to memory too, unless recorded somewhere!)
  4. They give you an emotional cleanse: sadness, happiness, thankfulness, wonder, anxiousness, inquisitiveness – it all hits you as you stroll through taking it all in.
  5. They’re rich in HISTORY and culture. The Wealthy Accountant summed this up pretty nicely in one of his own posts: “Cemeteries are a wealth of information, history and pride… I am humbled when I walk past faded gravestones of children who died after only a few days or years of life. At those moments I reflect on how lucky I am and how easy life is today.” Yes!! Parents, grandparents, teachers, leaders, inventors, justice fighters – all kinds of ancestors sleeping there, and all of whom helped shape this great community we’re now fortunate to live in.
  6. They’re beautiful. So many wonderful engravings and stonework and landscaped gardens.
  7. And they slow down time like no other, and force you to reflect. On your goals, on your life, on things you haven’t done yet, on things you’re too afraid to do, on how you want people to remember you one day, on how you want YOURSELF to remember you one day! – all kinds of thoughts and ruminations flow through you as you take it in.

If you ever want to come face-to-face with yourself, visiting a cemetery will do the trick within minutes :) And shocker – the last thing you’re thinking about is IRAs or debts! Unless it’s debts in your life like missed opportunities or purpose, haha… (And not to freak you out even more, but I even found THE cemetery I want to be buried in one day – even though they’re not taking on any more plots!! Nothing like a life-time mission though, right? :))

But seriously, they’re empowering as hell and I highly encourage you to walk through one over the weekend and see how it affects you.

Start with an *older* one in your town if you can, just to see the hundreds of years of history there, and then when you get home take it a step further by researching some of their lives and how they’ve shaped your city. It sucks you into an entirely different world and really gives you a deeper sense of things.

Because remember – even important people die, no matter how wealthy or influential they are. All the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Henry Fords – all rich and powerful, and all dead as a door nob who would have gladly given up their riches to live a bit longer on this great Earth of ours. Same with the Warren Buffetts and Bills Gateses and all other modern day billionaires too – no one can escape the circle of life!

But as scary as that is, there’s something refreshing about TAKING OWNERSHIP of it, and then using that to help push you towards your best possible life going forward.

I’ve been doing this at least once a month for the past 5 months now – ever since having that epiphany – and just like everything else you spend your time on, with each visit I get a little more clarity on how I want my future to look. It’s gotten so normal now that I don’t even think twice about slipping it into every day conversation, haha…

“Hey hon, gonna pick up some dinner and then hit up the cemetery for a few before coming home… See you soon!”

“STOP IT.” –  wife

Point is, our problems may be real and they suck, but death sucks a whole lot more, and always remembering that might help you get over it more and put things into perspective :)

And if you can’t get to a cemetery for whatever reason, pick up the obituaries instead and read all about the lives of your fellow brethren! It’s not as impactful as walking among them, but it still freezes time enough to give you a quick dose of reality.

Money matters, but it’s not the *only* thing that matters. It’s important to LIVE too.

I’ll leave you with one last passage I caught over on Tawcan.com the other month, who shared the last words of a young woman struggling against cancer… It’s one thing to contemplate all this stuff as a healthy person and use it to live a more fulfilling life, but a whole other to hear from someone who’s literally on their death bed who will never get the chance :(

Might want to grab a tissue box for this one…

It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens.

I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.

That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.

Holly passed away a few days after writing this, on Jan 4th, 2018 :(

Gotta do your best to appreciate things, friends. We’ve only got one shot at this!

For more death-related articles, see:

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  1. Lily | The Frugal Gene February 23, 2018 at 6:16 AM

    Aw I read that blog as well after seeing Tawcan’s (wait or was it Fin Samurai..?) tweet. Very sad indeed but filled with grace of life and thought which made it easier to read.

    I think technology will one day be so impressive that you could pay some big bucks to keep alive. I’m betting Bezos will be the first guy to do so. There’s something about that 10000 year old clock that spells Bond villain.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 6:39 AM

      Haha… yeah, that guy is always cooking up something over there. I’m still waiting for the anti-technology movement to start though. This stuff is starting to consume us, and it’s always so refreshing going on a detox every now and then!

  2. Accidental Fire February 23, 2018 at 6:20 AM

    After seeing the title, I thought this might be a guest post from Morrissey.

    All joking aside, wow. That was pretty intense, that letter from the Australian girl. Gives me quite a bit to think about before I start my Friday, in a good way.

    Tanks for sharing man

  3. [HCF] February 23, 2018 at 6:37 AM

    Great post and I don’t find this weird. Cemeteries are pretty inspiring indeed, I wrote about the importance of reflecting on death too when last time was walking there (https://www.haltcatchfire.com/memento-mori/). Just keep in mind it could be a double-edged sword. Don’t go there if you are really depressed or something, because it could make you think “do the endeavors and sacrifices even worth it, knowing that in the end, it doesn’t even matter”? Happened to me and it is not a good feeling. Thanks for sharing.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 6:42 AM

      Ack – yes! Good point!!

      I remember that post of yours too – especially the ending :)

      “Strangely, while walking between their graves now, sadness is not the strongest feeling in my heart. Gratitude is. I am thankful that I knew them. That they were part of my life. That they had an impact on my life. And that their loving memories along with the lessons they taught will remain with me until my time comes to follow them to the other side.”

      1. [HCF] February 26, 2018 at 8:05 AM

        You made me proud now (blush)!

        I should re-read my posts more often. That is when you write something fueled by emotions at the perfect time. For a moment I was wondering if it really was me who wrote this.

  4. Ms ZiYou February 23, 2018 at 6:55 AM

    I love a good cemetery, but more the old victorian ones – in London they are called the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries – and they are fascinating. Some are overgrown and atmospheric, and they have some cool residents; Marx, George Elliot, Douglas Adams etc.

    More details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnificent_Seven_cemeteries

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:09 AM

      HELL. YES.

      The older the better!

  5. Amy @ LifeZemplified February 23, 2018 at 7:04 AM

    I agree with your list of reasons for loving the cemeteries. It’s fascinating to imagine the lives of all the people there. So humbling.

  6. Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto February 23, 2018 at 7:21 AM

    Always important to remember what really matters in life, and it certainly isn’t money.

    Going deep today, J$. About 6’, I’d say. Thanks for keeping us on track with what’s important.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:09 AM

      This is what happens when you’re not glued to a screen 24/7 anymore :)

  7. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance February 23, 2018 at 7:22 AM

    J, you’re absolutely right that “Money matters, but it’s not the *only* thing that matters. It’s important to LIVE too.”

    That said, I’m going to spend my time alive far away from a cemetery. I’ll spend enough time at a cemetery once my time is done.

    For now, I’ll go to the park or the library for some peace and quiet.

  8. Mr. Freaky Frugal February 23, 2018 at 7:28 AM

    Thanks for the really thoughtful post!

    In my last job before I FIREd, there was an old cemetery right across from the building where I worked. I used to go for walks in it during lunch because it evoked all the things you said – peace, gratitude, history, curiosity, and beauty. Those walks are one of the few things I miss about that job.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:13 AM

      I would love that so much :)

      All that’s around me are cars and people on their cell phones all day long, haha…

  9. Kait February 23, 2018 at 7:40 AM

    I love cemeteries for their peaceful, grounding nature. I once took a cemetery tour while in college and it was amazing!
    That said, I’m an oncology nurse (I’ve worked in pediatric and adult oncology), and that last quote is a frequently reality in my life. It can be incredibly difficult to focus on FIRE when you are face to face with people your own age (or younger) who have run out of time. It makes it all the more obvious that FIRE can be a goal, but if you’re not enjoying the journey you’re wasting precious time.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:14 AM

      Oh damn :( I can’t even imagine being surrounded by that all day long – you must be an angel!! And how rewarding too!!

  10. Bryan February 23, 2018 at 7:43 AM

    I had a cemetary right next to my apartment in college in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. I used to jog through it 3 times a week (It was close and running is free). I would often pause to take in the beauty of the most elaborate marble artwork and listen only to the sound of the wind passing through the trees. How lucky was I: Didn’t have two nickels to rub together, but I had two legs to carry me, two eyes to take in the beauty, two ears to listen to the wind, and two lungs to breathe in life. Always reminded me of that Kansas song: “Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky. It slips away. And all your money won’t another minute buy. All we are is Dust in the Wind”

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:16 AM

      $hit – you got that right, man.

      The cemetery I was in last weekend had a few joggers going through it too… Probably the only thing that would get me to take it up, haha…

      1. Bryan February 24, 2018 at 6:50 AM

        “We mortals are but shadows and dust…shadows and dust.” Quote by Proximo to Maximus in Gladiator.

        Great Stoic Film


  11. Leanne February 23, 2018 at 7:49 AM

    We’ve had two very recent bereavements in our families, of older relatives, who lived very rich – in the widest sense of the word – lives. Talk about inspirational! Both sets of ceremonies, involving church, graveside/interment and then gatherings of loved ones truly felt like celebrations of their lives. I learned, laughed and cried simultaneously! I decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to wait for the ‘next’ funeral to decide to remember how precious each day is. Every day you wake up is like winning the biggest lottery ever. No matter how you feel, what issues there are, at least you have today. Some people wanted it soooo bad and didn’t get it. Budgets are sexy and so is finding a way to live life to the fullest without over-reliance on what essentially is immaterial.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:17 AM

      I love you so much right now :)

      1. Leanne February 23, 2018 at 5:58 PM

        Ditto! So much to learn in, and from, this wonderful community

  12. David Hunter February 23, 2018 at 7:55 AM

    Come visit Cleveland and I’ll take you to Lake View Cemetery. Full of history… President Garfield’s monument is there (with casket full view in the crypt) and Rockefeller is buried there! There’s even a little chapel with beautiful artwork and stained glass. Oh, and there’s even a huge dam!! The place is just awesome!

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:22 AM

      I WOULD LOVE TO!!!

      Adding it to my “People and places” spreadsheet so I remember to reach out if I’m ever around :) Sounds amazing.

  13. Bill February 23, 2018 at 7:55 AM

    Yes, In a weird way, cemeteries definitely are motivating. Each time I visit, I see a few more headstones. It’s a reminder that as we’re busy going about our days, other people are facing the end of their’s. I remember the first Mother’s Day I had to bring my kids there after their mom passed. Driving away, I couldn’t stop thinking – why her? How come I’m the one still here? It motivates me still, to get out of my comfort zone and be more of a parent to them. When I drive by it, I’m reminded to appreciate each day, and that some of the things that bug us aren’t really worth worrying about. On the same day that my brother-in-law lost his mom, my son was born. So there’s no escaping the cycle of life, but a visit to the cemetery reminds us to make it matter while we’re here.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:23 AM

      Amen to that, brother. Amen.

  14. COD February 23, 2018 at 7:59 AM

    Man, Holly’s letter was brutal. Just the thing I needed to get through this Friday. Thanks J Money!

    Seriously, though, I too am a fan of cemeteries. If you are ever in New Orleans take one of the cemetery tours – they are fascinating, more so with all the bodies above ground. I visited Hollywood Cemetery here in Richmond just a few weeks ago. https://odonnellweb.com/pelican/hollywood.html

    1. Greg February 23, 2018 at 8:20 AM

      Yes! The cemeteries in New Orleans are amazing. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (New Orleans) is probably my favorite cemetery in the U.S.

      1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:30 AM

        Most def! A friend and I once hung out in an above graveyard about 50 miles from New Orleans on a staggering hot day but one of the coolest things we’ve ever done…

        @COD – Still need to check out Hollywood Cemetery!! I have a feeling my list of new places to see is about to get a mile long now :) Took my kids to one last weekend to run around and get some fresh air, and thankfully they loved it as much as I did because my wife still won’t go in any with me haha… Looks like us boys are gonna be taking a lot of road trips together :)

  15. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance February 23, 2018 at 8:03 AM

    This is the most interesting obsession I have heard of. Reading your post and thinking about the cemeteries does make me appreciate life a lot more.

    It all shall pass

  16. PaulM February 23, 2018 at 8:14 AM

    I also make a point to walk through a cemetery every once on awhile for all the reasons you mention. I particularly try to walk through one when visiting a new city. The whole history of the place ironically becomes alive.

    I also read obits regularly, again as a reminder of how important life is. You can also learn a lot about life from reading them. They’re also a conscious, in the moment, reminder of how important loved ones truly are and how insignificant many of our problems are..

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:31 AM

      That’s gonna be my new thing to do now too – finding a local cemetery at every new city :)

  17. Greg February 23, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    I couldn’t agree more! I used to love walking through cemeteries. They are some of the most peaceful places on the planet, especially if you live in a big city.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:32 AM

      I was gonna ask you if you liked them, or if working at the morgue made you sick of death? I still find your guest post you did for us one of the most intriguing ones we’ve featured before… Such a fascinating line of work, though def. don’t think I’d have the courage to do it :) I’m way too emotional, haha…

  18. Jen13 February 23, 2018 at 8:59 AM

    I know understand what you are feeling while at the cemetery. I had those same feelings and experience when i began to research my ancestry. It made me so appreciative of the life i live today. It piqued an interest to want to learn more about history and to reflect upon their lives and hard decisions they had to make which has ultimately led me to the wonderful life I enjoy now. Each person in my history became like a character in a book. I could feel their sadness at sacrifices made, loss of homelands, deaths of parents in their childhoods or death of children from diseases etc. I was amazed at the fortitude they had to continue on and continue to build a life while dealing with tremendous heartache.

    It was definitely an emotional cleanse, definitely made me appreciate my life and reflect upon it while renewing an interest in history. Its important to appreciate people more than money and although I like to save, it is important to enjoy the journey along the way and keep my saving in check so it doesn’t become so obsessive that you miss the ride.

    I highly recommend researching your family history.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:36 AM

      I wholeheartedly agree :) Learning about the past from your own family line just helps it all sink in even more, and every family should have a genealogist to keep the memories alive!

      I’ve already started getting documents together and putting together a folder to be the researcher of my family, and apparently a great great grandmother somewhere did a ton of work back in the day and it’s sitting in boxes in someone’s storage and haven’t been able to find it yet! Cannot wait!! :)

  19. m. D. February 23, 2018 at 8:59 AM

    I love cemetaries too! With a giant family comes many funerals, so I grew up visiting many. I also used to love going to historical cemetaries to practice photography.

  20. Rocky February 23, 2018 at 9:14 AM

    I live next to a cemetery and I can confirm almost all of what you say.

    Fun fact when Pokemon Go first dropped I dabbled in it and the cemetery had a bunch of interactive content. It got me to go in there a few times a week and I really began to look at the artwork. Cemeteries always fill me with wonder as I try to picture what each individual person’s life was like. Great thoughts J!

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:37 AM

      Did NOT see that one coming, haha… But hey – anything to get you outdoors more and enjoy the scenery! ;)

  21. Sean @ Frugal Money Man February 23, 2018 at 9:21 AM

    It definitely can be a humbling moment. Walking within a cemetery really puts life in perspective, in terms of what is truly important. At any moment in time, everything could be gone in an instant.

    I was definitely curious to see where you were going with this post based off the title hahaha, but I liked where you went with it. They definitely provide a great opportunity for reflection.

    Great stuff!

  22. Joe February 23, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    It’s not for me. We don’t have anyone in the cemetery in the US so I have never been there. In Thailand, we go to the cemetery as a family a couple of times per year. It’s a huge gathering for all the extended families. Actually a Chinese tradition. It’s a lot more festive than here. I remember seeing cousins I usually don’t see. There were a ton of good food too.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:44 AM

      That’s cool people gather there together and enjoy! I don’t even think any of the cemeteries I’ve been too lately even house any of my relatives? I guess that should go next on the list, haha… I’ve just been chillin’ in any ol’ one I can find around me :)

  23. Paul February 23, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    I guess I have a hard time reflecting in general. Maybe I’m too much of a pragmatist.

    Personally, I would walk into a cemetery and start a conversation in my head about all of the waste I see around me. Not only financially but also from the standpoint of wasted space cemeteries make no sense. I would also get mad at the burial industry as a whole for taking advantage of people in a weakened state just to make a buck. I don’t want to be buried, just cremated and turned into food for a tree. I want my family to remember me in memories and not be sad by looking at an expensive stone poking out of the ground. I feel like taking up space in this world after you’re gone is incredibly selfish given the population challenges likely to occur in the future… if I think of it objectively I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t opt for cremation.

    I promise I’m not trying to be the antagonist of this comment section. I’m just explaining what would go through my head and what I thought of while reading the post.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 10:40 AM

      Haha… I hope your family tells me which tree you’ll be living through so i can visit it one day and carve my initials in it ;)

      1. Paul February 23, 2018 at 11:17 AM

        I guess then I would quite litterally be a $ tree??? Its cool though, I’d still give you free oxygen.

  24. cynthia cummins February 23, 2018 at 11:34 AM

    As always, your blog is a pleasure to read. It spreads a lot of light and LIFE over what can be a pretty DEAD realm (blogs about money, financing, real estate, etc.). No pun intended. Having grown up in Virginia, where cemeteries tiny or huge sprout up everywhere, I’ve long enjoyed visiting them, and reading the tombstones. Many of the olds ones, interestingly enough, were developed as parks/cemeteries, where families would gather for picnics and recreation among the dead. As a sloppy Buddhist, I now find them to be a great way into mindfulness, which makes me want to share this Zen text:
    “Life and death are of supreme importance.
    Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.
    Wake up! Wake up!
    This night your days are diminished by one.
    Do not squander your life.”
    You might like checking out this post of mine from RealEstateTherapy about “waking up:”

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 1:53 PM

      Sloppy Buddhist – I like that :)

      What part of Virginia are you from? I grew up on and off there myself, and very much trying to move back over the next year or so… So beautiful, and you’re right – full of historic cemeteries!

      1. cynthia cummins February 26, 2018 at 11:01 AM

        Love it that you reply! Thanks. Started in Grundy (in Appalachia). Then Northern VA for middle school. Then the Shenandoah Valley — Harrisonburg. Went to college in Richmond and have lots of family and friends there now. Been out west for most of my life now. San Francisco! Where, of course, everybody can claim to be SOME sort of Buddhist…I just read your column about the eviction and noted your wish to be in Virginia. Hope y’all can land there soon.

        1. J. Money February 26, 2018 at 1:59 PM

          Ahh very cool! All over Virginia, love it… And now you’re the 2nd person I know from Grundy if you can imagine that! It’s such a small place, right?

          1. cynthia cummins February 26, 2018 at 7:30 PM

            for reals? you know TWO people from Grundy? It is definitely small. So small that they actually moved THE WHOLE TOWN to dryer ground back in the 70s after it repeatedly flooded.

            1. J. Money February 27, 2018 at 6:56 AM

              now THAT is crazy! Haha….

  25. Mrs Money Magnet February 23, 2018 at 11:49 AM

    I love this post! I’m with you, I love to go to cemeteries and just walk around and my husband thinks it’s a little weird. I really find the ones with the above ground tombs intriguing. Here down in the south the ground isn’t always as solid and some areas are built on top of old swamp areas so if they were to bury them below ground they would shift places and the caskets would not be where you left them! I also follow The Good Cemetarian on FB. He’s based out of Florida and goes around restoring old tombstones and he even does research on the people. I think it’s a great thing he does restoring them, but to go that extra mile to really look into each persons life and how they died is so cool!

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:00 PM

      Oh wow!!!! I’ll have to follow that guy too – what a fascinating thing to do in your time!! Watch – this time next year I’ll be doing the same, haha…

  26. Abails February 23, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    I love being on the West coast because by the time I get to read your post there are wonderful comments to enjoy as well. Thank you for a thoughtful post to start Friday!

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:10 PM

      Hah! Look at that! :)

      The community here really does make everything better… I would have stopped blogging years ago without people stopping by to continue on the conversation.

  27. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life February 23, 2018 at 12:33 PM

    Hah, “All we are is Dust in the Wind” reminds me of a Supernatural episode where one of the main characters is sent to reap a man who dies suddenly, and that’s his response when the dead man asks: Why?

    The dead man was pretty peeved at being quoted a Kansas song ;)

    All kidding aside, death is such a present part of our lives. I started going to funerals when I was 4 or 5, both PiC and I have lost parents (many of our friends have) and we live near enough to the city where there are more dead people than alive to consider their cemeteries ours. And in my family, like Joe, it’s traditional to go to the graves once a year with offerings for the dead, one of which was my teenage cousin who should never have died so young. You never forget about death growing up in my family and I think it helps us remember to cherish the days that we do have left to us.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:15 PM

      “There are more dead people than alive” – so wild to think about right? That’s our entire world too, really… Centuries of births and deaths before us making the present just a blip on the radar when all is said and done… Makes you really want to appreciate the crap out of every day on this Earth!

  28. Krystal @ Simple Finance Mom February 23, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Maaannnnnn, way to hit me in the gut with that letter at the end! I remember reading that when it went viral. It truly makes us remember what matters most in life. And it’s not the number in our bank accounts.

    Also, I live in Richmond and you would LOVE Hollywood Cemetery! Talk about history….

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:16 PM

      Ahhhh I didn’t know you lived there!! I’ve gotten half a dozen notes about Hollywood Cemetery today – will you take me there if I come to town?? :)

  29. Laura February 23, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Thought I was the only one :) My childhood BFF had her back yard next to a cemetery (and I was across the street from her). We walked past 2 cemeteries each day going to/from school. During the summer, if there were no funerals/mourners, we’d ride our bikes through there or walk around looking at gravestones and sometimes scaring ourselves silly (we were little!).

    Besides being strangely peaceful, it does cause you to reflect. We had heard rumors of a cheerleading squad (killed in a plane crash) in the cemetery and finally found their gravestones one summer. So young.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:19 PM

      Ack!!! that’s when it becomes even more real – connecting the modern world with the past, jeez… So cool y’all lived close by like that though :) I was always afraid of them growing up, and honestly – even just a year ago haha… But not anymore!!

  30. Donna Freedman February 23, 2018 at 12:41 PM

    When I was a kid my parents took us walking in an old cemetery near our house. It dates from 1620. We liked looking at all the stones, and it blew our little minds that some of them were blank because rain — RAIN! — had worn the letters off over the years.

    Going to see my brother in May, and will suggest a walk to this place.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:20 PM

      Isn’t that amazing?? Time just weathers everything, even memories…

      You’ll have to snap a pic of the cemetery for me if you guys end up heading over there :)

  31. Menard Solve February 23, 2018 at 1:11 PM

    Cemeteries remind us that everything comes to an end. When I was a kid, my mom and grandma would always quarrel like cats and dogs. That too came to an end. Now their bodies lay peacefully next to each other in a cemetery 8,500 miles away. I miss them both dearly.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:23 PM

      Oh, man… I’m so sorry :(

  32. Tawcan February 23, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    I have to say, the western cemeteries are way less scary. When I was living in Taiwan, the cemeteries are just drop dead scary since it’s not laid out as nicely, so sometimes there are just random mounts of dirt with tombstones all over the place.

    And thanks for the mention J. What Holly wrote definitely inspired me writing the FIRE. RIP. 2014-2018 article.

  33. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 2:27 PM

    Yeah dude – you’re getting rawer and rawer as you go along here. Been loving your articles lately :) Would love to check out a lot more foreign cemeteries too… I remember stumbling across one in Prague years ago and was blown away by how crowded it was! Was the old Jewish cemetery – so wild: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Jewish_Cemetery,_Prague

  34. J Savvy February 23, 2018 at 2:55 PM

    I grew up next to a cemetery and took plenty of walks by and through it. But I never really stopped to take in all the history in there. Perhaps it was because I was young and likely going somewhere to do something else.

    Next time I visit home I need to make it a point to walk through it again, taking my time and wandering, with no real destination or purpose besides just that.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 4:35 PM

      Please do :) Then share your experience with your blog readers too!

  35. JoeHx February 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM

    I enjoy cemeteries and grave yards, too. There’s something about the forgotten history and lives lived that intrigues me. It makes me feel more connected to the distant past.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 4:38 PM

      Yup – and we should be better about connecting to the past too. It’s because of all those people we’re fortunate to have all we do these days!

  36. Jerry Brown February 23, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    Wow, Holly’s last words is a poignant reminder to us that we should cherish every moment of our existence.

  37. Chris February 23, 2018 at 3:56 PM

    Very inspirational J$,

    Makes me realize how insignificant my problems are today. Crazy thing is I live less than a block of a cemetery. I may slowly adopt this weird habit :) Wxcept at a cemetery that’s not too close to me.

    1. J. Money February 23, 2018 at 4:48 PM

      Haha…. let me know if it catches on and we can exchange notes :)

  38. Keisha Blair February 23, 2018 at 5:40 PM

    Hi J!!

    When I first saw the headline in your article I thought you were going to highlight that maybe after a loved one passed away that you had become increasingly more comfortable with cemetaries. After my husband passed away I realized that cemeteries weren’t that awful! There are so many things that we learn from death (including money lessons) that I wrote about in this article below:


    I love that you did this post! Very inspiring and we almost never talk about these things!

    1. J. Money February 26, 2018 at 2:01 PM

      Oh wow, jeez… I’m so sorry you had to go through all that – and your poor husband too! Good for you for putting it all out there and using it to help people. Such a beautiful thing to do – thank you :)

  39. Krista February 23, 2018 at 9:39 PM

    If you love cemeteries you have to visit Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. So many wonderful famous people there, but also the most beautiful and peaceful place. I went on a whim and LOVED it. Something for the bucket list. :)

    1. J. Money February 26, 2018 at 2:01 PM

      *goes to make a note!*

  40. Michelle@MichelleIsMoneyHungry February 23, 2018 at 11:15 PM

    One of the most amazing things about hanging out in cemeteries is all of the history, the stories, and lives lived. I used to live in Rochester, New York and the cemetery has famous dignitaries like: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. It’s a gorgeous place…but, I’m also a little superstitious.

    1. J. Money February 26, 2018 at 2:02 PM

      Sweet! I wish I could freeze time and visit *every single cemetery* on Earth, but sadly that would end with me being buried in one of them by the time I accomplished it, haha…

      So for now I’ll just have to take y’all’s word for it :)

  41. Mrs. Moe February 24, 2018 at 7:07 AM

    Husband too finds this weird about me. I am fascinated by cemeteries. The peacefulness, the finality, and the equality of it all. They remind me to not sweat the small stuff, the brevity of life, and that we all end up absolutely equal. All lessons that many of us could be reminded of. One of my favorites is in Paris, the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Though, because of some of the opened tombs I would never pay a visit at night! Another fantastic way to celebrate those that came before us and served in the military is the Wreaths Across America project. A great way to volunteer, reflect on our freedoms, and honor veterans.

    1. J. Money February 26, 2018 at 2:03 PM

      “And that we all end up absolutely equal. ” – how true that is! Haven’t thought about it that way before – love it :)

  42. FIRECracker February 24, 2018 at 2:04 PM

    I used to be terrified of cemeteries. They always made me panick, run away, and freaking out that I wasn’t doing anything purpose full with my life. But now that I’m living every day exactly how I want to live, spending it with the right people, cemeteries no longer freak me out.

    You’re right, J! Everyone should visit a cemetery, every now and then, to get a reality check on life.

  43. Steveark February 24, 2018 at 4:22 PM

    Pretty often on some of the long wilderness hikes we do in remote parts of Arkansas looking for waterfalls we will come across old cemetaries in the woods with graves dating back to the early 1800’s or older. I find those interesting, especially how many stones are set for infants and children. Surviving to adulthood was pretty tough in those times.

    1. J. Money February 26, 2018 at 2:04 PM

      Oh, most def.! People had like 8 or 9 kids back then too but only 1/3 or less would make it to adulthood – so sad (and so lucky are we to have been born these days vs back then!)

  44. MrSLM February 25, 2018 at 8:55 PM

    Honestly never thought about cemeteries being motivating in any way. Always figured they’d be a nice place to spend the afternoon reading a book, peaceful and serene places they are.

    Holly’s essay brings back memories, I’ve been in that hospital bed before, nearly the same age too. If you live, it has a way of focusing you on a path like nothing else.

    1. J. Money February 26, 2018 at 2:06 PM

      Whaaaat – really??? Did you completely change your life because of it, or were you already pretty satisfied with your path? I don’t know if that would get me to take *more* risks or *less* haha… But I know it would def. make me appreciate things even more so, despite how hard I currently try :) I’m glad you made it out and can hang with us now – woo!

  45. Sandi February 27, 2018 at 2:47 AM

    I love cemeteries. I go visit my dad and grandparents fairly often, and I love walking around reading all the gravestones. It’s super peaceful.

    Next time you’re in the San Francisco area, you’ll have to go to Colma. It’s pretty much all cemeteries!

    1. J. Money February 27, 2018 at 6:56 AM

      Okay! Adding to my list! :)

  46. Lily from The Rich Miser March 3, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    Hey J Money,

    My parent’s house where I grew up in is actually behind a cemetery! I remember when I had friends over as a kid they would freak out. It was always normal to me. As I got older I would go there to take morning walks, it was so peaceful. And yes, it does give one perspective and appreciation. So, I understand your love for cemeteries. This post made me smile and reflect for a moment.

    BTW, if you haven’t, you should visit Prague, their Old Jewish Cemetery is a must-see. They also have tours of other cemeteries and there are even blog posts around the internet on Prague’s hidden ones! :-)

    1. J. Money March 5, 2018 at 10:03 AM

      YESS!!! I’ve been there!!!! Didn’t appreciate it as much as I would now, but my Lord was that one beautiful – and sad – place… Those tombs are like 10 deep on top of each other! That whole country is so beautiful and fascinating though – easily my favorite of all the countries I’ve been to in my life :) Maybe my next trip will be to your parents house?? They wouldn’t be too freaked if a random mohawked guy knocked on their door during sunset, would they? ;)

  47. Jeremy March 8, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    I have to walk through a large cemetery every morning with my son to get to his school. It’s surprisingly refreshing. It’s such a mixture of emotions to have school kids playing and laughing on the path, people putting flowers on headstones, new graves being dug, veterans flags waving, parents greeting one another… all in one place.

    1. J. Money March 9, 2018 at 9:43 AM

      Oh man, I wholeheartedly agree…. What a great way to start the morning though! I hope it instills some appreciation in your son as he grows up too :)

  48. Tamara Johnson October 11, 2018 at 9:07 PM

    I found this article fascinating. I have loved cemeteries since I was a little girl. I love walking through them… looking at the names and dates. And the tombstones! Works of art!!!
    Glad to know I’m not the only one who has an affinity for them.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2018 at 7:29 AM

      Excellent!!! We would be good friends! :)

  49. Maria August 29, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    I came here because I searched on Google about the same thing! I’m obsessed with cemeteries! They are so beautiful. I love roaming around the headstones. They’re perfect. I thought I was crazy but after seeing this I’m feeling better.

    1. J. Money August 30, 2019 at 11:08 AM

      Haha good…

      We can appreciate them together :)

  50. Jojo January 3, 2020 at 3:46 PM

    I’m so glad I found your post. I love to walk through cemeteries and could spend hours reading the tomb inscriptions. I always wonder who they were or what kind of life they have lived. Or why they died, especially the younger ones. I always thought I was weird and never bring it up in conversation because I didn’t want people thinking I’m a weirdo. But just like you mentioned, there’s no better place to make you appreciate life more than to visit the monuments of all those who’ve lost it.

    I’m originally from Germany and we don’t have old cemeteries because in Germany you only lease your grave for 25 years. After that your descendants can either extend the lease for another 25 years or they’ll dig up your remains and put you in an unmarked mass grave. At every entrance of a German cemetery they have a message board behind glass that informs people when leases are up. I believe they’ll send descendants a letter in the mail six months in advance to give them enough time to make arrangements. So as you can imagine, it’s very uncommon to see a grave that’s older than 50-75 years. When I visited a cemetery in the U.S. for the first time and saw a grave of someone who had died in the mid 1800s, I about crapped my pants. I couldn’t believe it. So, yes, it may be a creepy hobby, but it doesn’t bother me. Besides, wouldn’t it be great if a complete stranger stood by your grave 150 years after you died and wondered who you were? They’d know your name, your date of birth and when you died. The rest would be lost to history. Anyway, I’m glad to know I’m not the only ”weirdo” hahaha

    1. J. Money January 6, 2020 at 8:42 AM

      Wowwww that is so fascinating!!

      Is that done to preserve *space* there in Germany, I’m guessing? People would NOT be happy with that here, haha…. Though eventually we’ll run out of space too so who knows what the future will hold :)

      Thanks for stopping by the blog today – always nice to meet another cemetery lover! Weird or not, it won’t stop us from enjoying it! :) Happy New Year!