Recently, we payed a visit to a local cemetery in Bethlehem, known as Nisky Hill. This cemetery has been around for about two hundred years. Nisky Hill was founded by the Moravians, which also founded Bethlehem, so you can see their religious traditions in this setting. In the older, original sections of the yard, all the headstones are flat and flush with the ground. Also, you the people are not organized by family, but by date of death. Everyone is buried in chronological order by death date. Men and women are separated from another, and different races or ethnicities are not segregated. This is a Moravian belief , everyone is equal in death. I personally admire these traditions, especially the idea of chronological burial. This helps family members remember when their loved one died, instead of just looking for a specific area in a cemetery.
Nisky Hill has a number of highly known people within the grounds. Hilda “H. D.” Doolittle is buried at Nisky Hill, as she was born in Bethlehem. She was a patient of Dr. Sigmund Freud. She was also an American poet that was best known for her poem about the beach and ocean. People often visit her grave and lie seashells o...
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...t include grave markers, looking very much like a botanical park with the many trees and grassy fields. Other options include donating the body to science, cryogenically freezing the body in hopes for a revival in the future.
Our visit to Nisky Hill has helped me realize that a cemetery can be used for so much more than it is meant to be. If only they could be seen in a different light by others. This is all very possible, but I do not believe it will happen. Our society is very set on it’s views, and it will take a lot to change them. Especially with everything working against cemeteries and their common misconception of being “haunted." The idea of a cemetery as a public space is a taboo, and Americans do not take too kindly to taboos. In the end, are cemeteries something to be fascinated by? Of course, however cemeteries being public spaces are not going to happen.
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