I visited Regina Cemetery this summer — one of the oldest urban burial grounds in Saskatchewan, established in 1883. I have grandparents here; grandparents that I never met. This 40 acre cemetery has 29,000 grave sites that memorialize many lives, including those who died in the 1912 Regina tornado, the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic, the North West Rebellion, the Boer War, WW I, WW II, the Korean conflict, and the 1935 Regina Riot. Here lie prominent founding fathers, immigrants from over 31 countries, and paupers. The markers vary from the most elaborate, to the modestly humble. While walking the grounds, I was fascinated by the variety of monuments and the stories they told.
Broken headstones, both elaborate and plain.
Unique, and perhaps one of a kind.
Elaborate and beautiful.
Wooden crosses abound, and other wooden markers too.
Beautiful creations from metal.
Many of the Jewish faith are buried in a separate section. Unfortunately I can’t read the inscriptions. Many of these headstones were adorned with little tokens or pretty stones left by visitors to the cemetery. I found out that this is a tradition that goes back many years.
Even a mausoleum can be found here.
And many, many children—a grim reminder of child mortality in bygone eras. The first burial in this graveyard was a two year old little boy. So sad, so sad.
Yet, within the gates, there is life. I saw an abundance of birds, especially robins, that make this place their home, and rabbits that foraged and rested amongst the headstones. I was moved beyond words for some of the people and families represented here, and one inscription especially touched my heart:
“While on this earth I did remain,
I suffered much with grief and pain.
But thank the Lord, He thought it best,
He took me to His heavenly rest.”