You are going to die. We all are. We become reminded of that each day watching the news, reading the obituaries, and, for many of us, when driving past cemeteries. One either loves or fears cemeteries. Who has not gotten chills driving past them in the dark of night or been dared to enter one by childhood friends. For many people however, they are a place of serene beauty and a photographer’s dream.
Photographers have long loved cemeteries for their natural setting and light, taking pictures that prompt the viewer to interpret their own feelings upon seeing a tombstone inscription – or lack thereof. Each cemetery marker has its own story, with the ability to sadden us at how short life is, to reaffirm our desire to live life voraciously, or to prompt us to appreciate one another better. Through poignant lyrical and biblical verses, touching epitaphs, and beautiful photographs, Final Thoughts documents 300 years of cemeteries.
The book contains an introduction by Doug Keister, author of 25 architecture books, whose love of cemeteries began on a ride through Lincoln, Nebraska. With an appendix filled with cemetery-focused websites, it will certainly please cemetery lovers while the content will appeal to anyone interested in photography and history. Fans of the morbidly fascinating book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach will enjoy it as well. Those deathly afraid of cemeteries will find this is the safest way to be in one!