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 :)
<<< I LOVE CEMETERIES!!! >>
<<< There, I said it! >>
- They’re so peaceful! Thousands of people there and no one talking!!
- They make you appreciate the crap out of living. Because spoiler alert: everyone in the cemetery is dead, and YOU are not. (Yayy!)
- 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!)
- They give you an emotional cleanse: sadness, happiness, thankfulness, wonder, anxiousness, inquisitiveness – it all hits you as you stroll through taking it all in.
- 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.
- They’re beautiful. So many wonderful engravings and stonework and landscaped gardens.
- 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:
- My Dead Sexy Job: Living Life as a Mortician
- A Simple Spreadsheet on “When You Can Retire” (and How Long You Have Until Death!)
- Dear Wife, Here’s How to Spend My Life Insurance Money When I’m Gone!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!