Guest post by Celebrant Wendy Coulton of Dragonfly Funerals
Tinseltown is not immune to the universal challenges cemeteries face generating a sustainable income to maintain the grounds and run its services.
It was reassuring to learn as a former director of a charitable trust which manages Ford Park Cemetery in Plymouth that the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles has also been saved from the brink of financial collapse and closure. And the new owners have come up with innovative ways to get people through the gates to appreciate the cemetery as a heritage asset for all generations.
They have movie nights within the 60-acre grounds and kiosks with video tributes to people interred there.
I firmly believe that cemeteries must find such ways to make a connection with the living – to be relevant and resonate with people for different reasons – whether it is for the peace and green open space to reflect, the architecture and memorials or the abundant human interest stories. Cemeteries can capture the history, culture and individuality of a locality and its community just as well as any museum.
If you have a non-morbid love of cemeteries there is a name for us – Taphophiles.