Needless to say, the concept of death was not something I had to learn the hard way. Death wasn't really a big deal when I was a kid. I know I may sound very insensitive, but give me break, my high school was next to cemetery for crying out loud. Living in an area where funeral processions are a daily occurrence kind of desensitizes you to death. In fact, when I was growing up, the neighborhood kids (myself included) would use the multitudes of local cemeteries as a playground.(But...oh, how we avoided them like the plague when nightfall approached!) Despite being surrounded by constant reminders of death, I've always had mixed reviews about the cemetery.
Personally, I was terrified of what could happen there at night.
My negative perception didn't happen gradually. I was traumatized. On many errand-running occasions, my older brother would drive with me to the cemetery and park in between mausoleums. It would be pitch black (nothing but the headlights to illuminate our surroundings) and he would hop out of the car to hide from me. I would sit utterly horrified in the car until he scared the crap out of me by yelling "boo" or something to that effect. I was about eight or nine at the time so the emotional damage stayed with me for years. Now that I look back on it he was just being a "mean big brother", but the cemetery stopped being a "fun" place once I associated death with the spooky afterlife. I hated the cemetery and everything that came along with it....up until last year.
Now, not a day goes by where I don't think about the cemetery.
The cemetery has turned into "my happy place". As morbid as it may sound, I look forward to visiting my baby at the very place that I spent so many years avoiding. My fears have been lifted and even nightfall doesn't bother me. Security has gently reminded me that it was closing time on countless occasions. It is the one place in the entire world where my little family can physically be together...all of my cubs in one place.