Cimetiere Du Montparnasse

It was a typical overcast day in Paris.
I had just been to the marché a block from my apartment
and was wandering home when I passed by the 
Cimetiere Du Montparnasse.

The flower vendors were outside the gate so that family or friends might
brighten up the resting places of their loved ones.  A Mom was washing the
tiled monument to her son while the Father stood by watching her.
There was a large photo of her son who looked to be only in his mid-twenties.
It broke my heart to watch them.
I can't imagine the pain of losing a child.
As I walked through the little roads that would wind through the 
cemetery, the history and the stories many of the monuments
would tell made a huge impact on me.  All these people had
lives just like us and probably never visualize themselves in this context. 
We forget how quickly life can pass us by.

"Pay Attention", they seemed to whisper.
"Stop wasting your life being afraid to take chances..."

There was the couple who died on the same day at Auschwitz.
The mother who lost her little boy at the age of one.
Or the tomb with no name.  Who was that person?
Stories ... so many stories that I would never know.

But the beauty of some of the tributes
felt like I was walking through a wonderful art gallery.

Like this mirror mosaic of a large bird on
top of a tombstone.   It makes you wonder
about the dearly departed's personality.
He or she must have been full of life.
Or these wonderful little metal works
on top of a steel tomb that caught the sun
and made the figures seem to dance.
It reminded me of a Sunday in the Luxembourg Gardens.
In all the cemeteries in Paris,
there are the resting places of famous persons.
This is the beautiful tomb of
Auguste Rubin, a French sculpteur.
Henri Langlois created the Musée Du Cinema
in France and was a pioneer of film preservation.
He worked closely with many of France's leading
directors like Francois Truffant and Jean-Luc Godard.

Collaged in plexiglass were all the films I assume
Monsieur Langlois worked on.  He received an
Honorary Oscar for his work.
This is Ricardo.
I couldn't find any information on him but
he was very much loved by the people in his life.

The little tablet in front of the mosaic cat says:
"Our Great Friend Ricardo.
Died Too Soon.
Young, Full Of Love and Beautiful."

What a tribute.

Cemeteries in Paris are like
lessons in history and love.

(photos by Meg Mitchell)

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