November 18, 2020

Why do we visit Necropolis?

Michael Halligan

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Tapho, 2020

I am a Taphophile. You probably are too. Glasgow’s Necropolis is filled with them. People who enjoy visiting graveyards. Why is it so popular? What pulls us all there? Is it the statues, the view, the quiet, or is it something much more sobering? People like us. Gone. The people buried don’t have much to say about who they are beyond their partner, their age and how much money they had for a bigger gravestone. But when you look past the stone and realise that that’s not all they could have been, you realise that they felt just as you do. And suddenly, with some humanity to them, you’re walking besides someone that’s been where you’re going, and seem wiser for it. When we paint dead strangers with the same brush as ourselves, we learn something new. We learn they probably died with thoughts stuck behind their lips. The same thoughts we have and wait for the right moment to say them. They’re not just stone but people we can learn from. We have the opportunity they no longer have. This is knowledge they share with us. We’ll put it to use, when the time is right.