Good morning my darklings.  I have learned a new and perfect word that makes me feel a little less strange about myself because after searching about it, there are lots of people and groups dedicated to something that I love:  Graveyards.  As a writer, I feel kind of stupid that I never came across it before.  The word is taphophile and I am one.  It literally means one who loves tombstones.  And I do love them, wandering through them, learning pieces of other people’s stories and wondering about them.  I love the serenity of them, the gothic feel of the older parts where the stones are worn and faded with time.  I really want to do some grave rubbings, like you do when you put a sheet of paper over a coin and use a pencil to get the president’s head, except this would be the names and dates and the beloved mother or wife, daughter or sister, husband, son or father.  On the simplest form the graveyard is almost like an art museum.  Think of the work a person used to go through to carve those weeping angels or intricate crosses.  Once upon a time before it became weird to do so, people used to go to graveyards for a nice Sunday picnic with their families.  The grass would be lush and green, trees shaded you with their overhanging branches.  I personally don’t think that’s strange.  I had a teacher who once told me that on a nice weekend day, she would take a folding chair and a book to sit by her mother’s grave and read so she felt she was spending time with her.  To me, that’s a sweet gesture and I’m sure in some way her mother loved still being remembered and loved.

But back to why this word should have come to my attention before.  Beside the fact that I read so many non-fiction books about the dead, fiction about them and all their dark fantasy/horror forms, I write about them.  My book Brimstone Blues is about a young woman who works in a mortuary and has almost complete power over the dead and she loves them and the places where they rest when she’s done her job.  You can be sure that taphophile will find its way into my next book.  And I may even join one of those groups I found on-line.  There’s even a site that sells stuff for us and I’ve found the perfect gift for a friend of mine.

So if you’re like me and my friend and my teacher, know you’re neither weird or alone.  And there’s a term for us beside the “weirdos who hang out in cemeteries”.  We’re Taphophiles and proud of it. 🙂

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