In Memory of the Lost

In Memory of the Lost

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.

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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.
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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.”

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32 thoughts on “In Memory of the Lost

    1. You can find many-a story in a graveyard. I like to study the inscriptions on headstones, calculating how long ago someone lived and how long they lived. They are an important piece of history.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can only imagine and make up stories. I noticed one headstone dated Oct 2-5, 1939. Few days old. It’s sobering fact that we all die. I enjoy visiting cemeteries to remind our mortality. Thank you for sharing the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peace and sadness seem to be the emotions I feel in a graveyard and when viewing photographs like yours. Some of the statuary is exquisite. I noticed one of the markers had children dying within days of each other. So many epidemics that are controlled now were rampant then. As someone who had scarlet fever as a teenager, I can easily understand how it took lives, and I’m grateful for the modern-day medicine that helped my body conquer it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. I’m sure many of the deaths could have been prevented nowadays. I agree that many headstones are beautiful. That’s the only graveyard in our city that allows such monuments. All the others have regulations regarding height, etc,

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband thought this was kind of a morbid subject for “This Made Me Smile Today”, but I felt somehow, that I was honouring the memory of these represented. Thank you for your comment, and for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful set of photos, Candice. Lovely, thought-provoking and sobering all at the same time. And what a gift to have a cemetery like that open to the public. LIfe on this earth is incredibly short and unpredictable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the very nice comment. The experience was thought-provoking, sobering, as you say, but somehow moving too. Though I didn’t know these people, I felt as though I shared their story for a moment or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yet another thing we have in common…I LOVE visiting cemeteries; always have. There are so many stories and so many mysteries. I can wander for hours. Not morbid at all: just a lovely way for us to honour those who walked here before us. And to understand how fleeting life is…Thanks SO much…lovely post…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Interestingly some headstones are ornately decorated, indicating that someone wealthy lay there, while the headstones next to them are plain. It shows that no matter what a person does in life – their social standing, their career – all alike end in the same place. It’s a humbling thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

    Like

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