My Favorite Parks are Cemeteries

I was on my fourth or fifth visit to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris when I overheard another American tourist, a young woman in her twenties, make this statement about the cemetery to her friends:

“I guess it’s a park…if you’re morbid.”

I didn’t know whether to fight her on it or thank her for her observation. Because I’m not sure whether I’m morbid.

The dictionary that pops up on my Google search defines morbid as “characterized by or appealing to an abnormal and unhealthy interest in disturbing and unpleasant subjects, especially death and disease.”

I’m definitely interested in death. I wrote a dissertation about it. And I’ve made no secret about my love of cemeteries. Check out my updated cemetery recommendations page that now includes Père Lachaise!

But I wouldn’t I characterize my interest as unhealthy or abnormal. I think that I think about death a healthy amount. An amount that lets me reflect upon what I want to do with my life and how I will handle change. An amount that lets me better understand the past by studying the lives of the deceased.

My favorite parks are cemeteries. And cemeteries are often the places I am happiest and the most at peace.

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