Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn A Landscape of Lives - Page 19

During one of my shifts at the Visitors Center a couple came in excited about being at Mount Auburn Cemetery and wanting some information . Karen ’ s father had been President of the New England Cemetery Association for many years . She came with her new husband and two of the nine children in their newly blended family .
They walked leisurely through Story Chapel , looking at the stained glass and looking very much at home . Karen ’ s son , an organist at his church in Lancaster County , PA , asked if he could play the instrument in Story Chapel . I agreed and asked if he would play some Bach . As he started playing , the couple found the words to the hymn on their iPhones and began to sing along . I was moved to tears . Their voices penetrated my soul and will be in my memory forever .
Adding to this meaningful moment , the couple asked if they could sing me a blessing upon leaving the Chapel . I felt honored . As their beautiful voices filled the chapel , my heart opened , and I felt a wave of enormous gratitude . I offered them a blessing in return , as they were newly married and so very much in love . I wished that they “ would always be as happy as they are today and continue to share their love and spirit with others .”
This happening reminded me what an honor it is to be a volunteer at Mount Auburn Cemetery . Every week I have the opportunity to meet new and interesting people and share the beauty of this most sacred place .
— Arlene Kulin
Before I was a volunteer at Mount Auburn , I was a birder , a photographer and a lover of nature . I used to walk with my partner and wonder about the stories of the Cemetery ’ s residents … some names known , others just imagined .
When I saw a notice about volunteer docent training I jumped at the chance to dive deeper into this multi-layered place . Planning tours with other volunteers is great fun and provides a chance to learn and combine areas of expertise ( literary , theatrical , visual , horticultural , ornithological ). My own personal interests include leading photography walks , and programs about the lives and stories of Jewish people buried at Mount Auburn . I also enjoy leading van tours for senior citizens and giving walks for people with disabilities at the Cemetery . I especially love attending walks by other docents , where I always learn something new , which I often add to my own tours . Mostly , I ’ m happy to know that I ’ ll be buried along with my mother and partner overlooking Halcyon Lake where I can look at birds and watch the seasons change into eternity .
— Helen Abrams

Some Thoughts on Being a Volunteer at MountAuburn …

Before I started training to become a volunteer at Mount Auburn , I spent many happy hours walking through the Cemetery , going on walks led by Janet Heywood and leading informal walks for Harvard Graduate Students . I was very excited to join the volunteer program and to learn about the history , art , and nature in this marvelous place . There are so many marvelous programs at Mount Auburn and one sees and appreciates something different at each visit . I especially love the candlelight memorial service given by the Cemetery staff in December . From the first moment I walked into this “ other world ” through the Egyptian Gateway to now and for the future I am blessed to have this very special place in my life .
After being “ out of commission ” for a few months due to a health issue this summer , I came to realize how much I missed my everyday routines of spending time with friends and volunteering . Although I was sad to miss a big trip to Spain that I had been planning for , when a friend remarked that he was sorry I missed my trip , I replied , “ forget Barcelona , I just want to take a walk at Mount Auburn Cemetery !”
— Frances Doyle
— Susan Zawalich
2017 Volume 1 | 17