A cemetery can be empty of people but crowded with the memories of people we knew, once occupying life in large measure, now confided to two paces of earth or a handful of ashes.
There are some places which are temples of death where the tombs and trees obscure the sky, like the old cemetery in Highgate with its mausoleums edging winding paths and its aping of life, real life, later aped itself by Disneyland. Its trees and bushes in places are jungle like. Other cemeteries are devoid of trees with only little vegetation that struggles for life in a place for the dead, and mainly well ordered, as good regulations. Other cemeteries are fields of white crosses perfectly ordered in green grass, perfectly cut.
Every society has ways of treating its dead enclosed with tradition as well as words of comfort spoken or sung as prayers. Having taken what we needed from this good mother earth, and sometimes taken far more than we needed because we had taken what we desired we return to the arms of that good mother.
I have always felt sorry for those whose bodies were laid in large tombs, in shelves or in mighty cathedrals. the remains of Napoleon lie in a massive vase like urn in Les Invalides in Paris, far from the earth; kings and queens laid to rest in the stone floors of stone buildings are denied the chance to return to the arms of the dust from which they sprang. Under the streets of Paris and Roe lie the bones of millions of souls, once buried and then disinterred to be placed in hideous tasteful arrangements, the of strangers skulls piled together, femurs bleached of flesh filed in the next cave.
It is good to visit a cemetery to be reminded of death that will come to all of us living beings. And it is good to think on these things. But it is especially good to leave these places of memories and walk into busy streets where the living are, where I am, alive and glad of it.