Graveyards and Christmas Cards

This is near the military section of the cemetery
This is near the military section of the cemetery

I love graveyards. I always have. I remember being 6 and visiting the graveyard in Bonners Ferry and thinking how pretty it was, and if I died soon I hoped they’d bury me there. I used to go hang out in the Mineral Cemetery to watch the stars on bright, clear nights. My husband proposed to me in the tiny graveyard we’d walked to on the night we met. I walked around the Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose the night I was in labor with Grey, and through Stoneham’s Lindenwood Cemetery the night I gave birth to Thane. I am often in graveyards, when I play taps for veterans funerals. I find graveyards lovely, peaceful, thought-provoking and restful.

Walking the quiet lanes
Walking the quiet lanes

On Saturday, we arranged with Coelynn McIninch to do our every-four-years formal family portraits. Coe had taken the Camp Gramp portraits two years ago, and I’d liked her work a lot, so it was logical to ask her to come and shoot us. But it was 4 pm on a Saturday afternoon in September, with fast-fading light. It was overcast, and a bit chilly. I’d _planned_ on going to the Middlesex Fells for the pictures, but suddenly that seemed a long way away. “Why don’t we just go to the graveyard?” my husband inquired, reading my mind. And so we went.

I should also mention that we are very respectful of graves, and we teach our sons to be as well. I never forget that a place of peace of me is a place of sorrow for others.*

I love this picture of Thane and me - and his golden gift!
I love this picture of Thane and me – and his golden gift!

Folks, the pictures are AMAZING. It was very, very difficult (nigh impossible!) to keep Thane looking forward and smiling, but she did it. Grey is adorably snaggle-toothed… I’m shocked that the front tooth has held on another few days! There were some pictures of us getting wiggles out, or being silly, or just being a family with a six year old and three year old (for a few more days!) I’m super pleased with all of them – both silly** and serious – and the hard part will be to decide which ones make it on the wall and in our Christmas cards!

This bridge was so lovely!
This bridge was so lovely!

That’s right, folks. The last game of the regular season is on the radio, so it is clearly time to think of Christmas cards!

I’m tempted not to share, if only so those of you who actually get Christmas cards from me are surprised, but that seems too mean.

Flynn Family Portraits – 2012: by Coelynn McIninch

*There was a guy there who was learning how to drive a clutch on the cemetery hills – loudly – and someone must have called the police because two cruisers pulled in just as we pulled out. I admit to being rather glad we were safely off by then!
**The ones where the boys are being zombies and eating Adam’s brains are AWESOME. I love the “Tomb of the Living Dead” some teenager scrawled on that wall years ago.

Published by


Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

2 thoughts on “Graveyards and Christmas Cards”

  1. My wife and I used tomake rubbings from old and interesting stones. We had some from a lost confederate cemetary near Little Rock, and some very old ones from Lexington. Some thought our hobby macabre but we enjoyed it!


  2. Don’t forget that we saw a golden eagle perching among the graves while were taking pictures. The bird was huge!


Leave a Reply to Adam Flynn Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s