To Do

To Do

535. Put flowers on the untended grave of a stranger

My Story

Updated August 1, 2009

I have put flowers on the graves of strangers before, but they could hardly be called untended. One Wednesday evening a few years ago, I took myself on a date in Westwood Village. I ate a wonderful dinner at a small Italian restaurant, then wandered the farmer’s market that used to fill the side streets in Westwood each Wednesday (sadly, it’s been discontinued). There were booths full of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, hand crafts, freshly prepared ethnic foods, and a live band playing while people danced. On a whim, I bought a bouquet of flowers – they were so beautiful I couldn’t resist.

After wandering the fair for a bit, I decided to go and visit the tiny cemetary that’s tucked in behind the high rises along Wilshire Boulevard. It’s there that both Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin are buried along with many other celebrities. I left a single rose from the bouquet on Dean Martin’s grave, and the rest of the bouquet on Marilyn’s. Then I got on the bus and went home for the night.

There’s a heavy sort of sadness that settles over me when I visit cemetaries. All those souls, loved and admired, no longer with us. The next time I am there, I will be sure to pay attention to the ones that get no attention at all.

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