Life Among the Dead

It strikes some of my friends as being a bit odd — maybe even morbid — but my favourite spot in my city is Fernhill Cemetery.

Established in 1848, far out of the centre of town on the Marsh Road, it was meant to be as much a park as it was a place to honour and remember your loved ones.  Now Marsh Road is Rothesay Avenue, lines with car dealerships and fast food restaurants, et cetera, but the park-like setting remains the same.  I have been fascinated by this place since I was about six years old.

First and foremost, I love the crows.  There are so many of them, flitting amongst the Victorian fixtures.  They are curious as to what I am doing, as I go from row to row, reading names on the stones, looking for a stranger’s ancestors.  “Gravehunting” is a hobby of mine, and I know the crows are taking bets to see if I can find the markers I’m looking for.

A close second to the crows, though, are the trees.  I love the trees.  We lost a number of them a few years ago in a big ice storm, and my heart broke in grief for some of my best arboreal friends.

And this time of year, these same trees bring me a little bit of hope.  For all the bare branches and the grey stillness, they are stirring.  Life is returning to them.

The sap is running.  And some enterprising soul is making maple syrup.





Day 15 of the March SOLSC 2022

This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.


  • Thanks for sharing places in your city. I’m learning from the history you share about the different places. It is great the parklike area has been kept. In my city, there is a petition to save a children’s park. It also has a many old trees and stories many adults remember about their visits.

  • I love cemeteries, too. They offer a glimpse into history and also a slice of serenity. I’m glad you shared this today.

  • Your title leads us as you show life in the cemetery. I expected trees, but crows surprised me. Love your fancy of competing with them. And including sap in the trees kind of brought it full circle for me, as it reminds me of our blood, circulating our length. It also seems as if your cemetery is so old that it really has become a park. Nice piece. And I don’t think its strange- I enjoy cemeteries, too.

  • Mmm… cemeteries are fascinating places, aren’t they? Thanks for this description of the one you love. And thanks especially for the ending, “some enterprising soul is making maple syrup.” What a perfect line. Now I wonder what those souls are getting up to at night. Heeheehee