A Million Ways to Die in the West
I have to admit that I am happy to see graves as a theme come to an end. All this thought about death and dying has left me feeling somewhat raw.
In conclusion, today, I walked around the Fort Collins Grandview Cemetery, a place I have avoided my whole life. It was surreal in some ways seeing the endless sea of headstones and knowing there were bodies of people I once knew buried somewhere in here. I was looking in particular for the graves of some early pioneers that were once buried in some other cemetery but were moved to this one as the city grew. I ran across this old grave of Tillie A. Irvine from 1880. Turns out she was one of two victims who died in an historic fire in downtown Fort Collins, the cause of which remains unknown but it is suspected to have been arson. As if there weren't enough challenges to staying alive in the West back then.
From this perspective, I am very grateful for the time in which I was born and the sophisticated culture in which I live. Simple things like clean running water and warm winter gear just can't be taken for granted when I consider the grave obstacles faced by these early settlers.
Smiling to be in a warm cozy house with windows and doors that close all the way.