Personal Confessions—- I am a Taphophile



A few weeks ago Janice Tennant Campbell  put a photo on my page saying I was a taphophile.  A taphophile is someone who loves cemeteries and funerals. Canadian is where gravers spend time when they’re not in cemeteries. It’s a sprawling database of thousands of burial records. Each record consists of a page where the living can enter a deceased’s name, and find the burial location These hard-core gravers, like genealogists, have built a culture around documenting the dead. Some ask me about my search for history and say,

Really? You don’t have anything better to do than this?”

I can assure you I don’t spend all my free time with dead people.

Taphophilia has always seemed a strange term to me. Perhaps it’s too scientific, or maybe it smacks just a bit too much of hipsterism.  Akin to the idea of cemetery collector, I’ve always fashioned myself as a memory collector, pocketing the histories of men and women long gone and yet still oddly alive when I stroll past their stones. It’s always about memories, even on a mission at the Oakland California cemetery last year looking for the Black Dahlia’s grave.


I don’t feel I am morbid and like to talk about death all the time, in fact I think I have a pretty laid-back attitude toward graving. But I do take time to note strange names—or the forgotten. A cemetery is a powerful place. With all its lifelessness, it is mighty and compels me to think about my choices: Do I make a contribution? Do I live my passions?  Do I make a difference?

A cemetery is authoritative in its unassuming way of humbling us, and yet empowering in its wake-up call for us to appreciate what we have here. Do we really fear death—or do we fear not truly living? I always feel inspired by the lives that lived before me and the legacy they have left for me.
 Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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