I am very sorry that one of The Bee’s letter writers writers had an unpleasant experience at Fresno Memorial Gardens on Mother’s Day. She was looking for quiet meditation, which is certainly one way of remembering loved ones who have passed on.
Historically, the first rural cemeteries (as opposed to churchyards) built after the 1830s were places where families gathered for picnics, hunting and shooting, and even carriage racing. Having picnics and games at a cemetery is not without precedent. It was only later when Americans began distancing themselves from death that memorial parks became places to visit infrequently and quietly.
There are many ways to honor and remember our loved ones who have passed on. The visitors who seemed to be having fun were there on Mother’s Day, which suggests that perhaps they really did want to remember their mothers. Otherwise, they surely could have gone to a park.
Let’s leave room for a variety of ways to honor our deceased loved ones and respect personal and cultural differences.
Wes Thiessen, Fresno