Happy Tombstones Show How People Lived, Died

This man has been immortalized on the Internet forever, though probably not in a way he would’ve approved.

This Romanian cemetery is a splitting image of my favorite playgrounds growing up in Russia – it has the same feeling of being colorful, cheerful and creepy (Russian playgrounds are famously creepy) all at once. Each person here has a story. Some are obvious, some are more mysterious. Okay, so Gumby attacked him from beyond the grave. And her husband ran her over. Meanwhile, he… loved Etch-a-Sketch? Other interpretations are welcome in the comments.

While this merely reminds me of a playground, I’d love to see this idea fully realized. My ideal cemetery is now one giant playground: everyone that’s buried has their own swing set or slide, in all different colors. Rich people who’d normally have mausoleums could have treehouses and jungle gyms. Cremated people get to be a sandbox.

10 Responses to “Happy Tombstones Show How People Lived, Died”

  1. Jani Says:

    That is very interesting idea.
    Maybe you should send letters and drawings for people who do these kind of things. Europeans and American would probably not approve at first, maybe Chinese or some other Asian culture would embrace your idea of playground cemetery.

  2. Alysa Says:

    Aw that’s so funny, I was just there last winter!!! It was pretty awesome. And like the rest of the churches in small-town Romania, the one adjacent to this cemetery is still very much in use. With parishioners who are apparently quite adept at ignoring us weird touristy types. :D

  3. Jennifer dG Says:

    I love the disconnect between the cheery colors and happy people and what the images seem to imply. He killed himself with the demon of smoking and drink! He.. stepped in front of a train, smiling and waving to welcome the blessed relief of death?

    In Hispanic cultures, All Saint’s Day or Dia de lose Muertos is a day to party in the cemetery. When I was a kid, a playground would have definitely been welcome at the cemetery. You only can play “hot lava” by jumping from tombstone to tombstone for so long.

  4. Eta Karinae Says:

    I saw this cemetery once on the telly, it was shown on the documentary New Europe by Michael Palin. In my early teens me and my girlfriend loved to “explore” cemeteries, we could spend hours just reading tombstones inscriptions and looking at the pictures. God, we would have loved this one.
    I can see the similarity with the Russian playground. It gives me a sense of melancholy, like I could fantasize that is haunted by children’ s ghosts.
    On the subject of parks with monsters, take a look if you like to the gallery of Bomarzo garden in Italy. It’ s a park with sculptures of mythological creatures, I find it very fascinating and I promised myself to visit it one day:



  5. psychomar Says:

    the “loved etch-a-sketch” one looks more like he’s walking in front of a train. Do ya see the train?

  6. Days of Our Lives: Romanian Folk Art at Life in the Garden Says:

    […] for awhile, meanwhile it’s made the rounds on some of the funeral blogs and was featured on Coilhouse […]

  7. Captain Nuclear Says:

    I would want my grave to be a place of adventure rather than enjoyment. That’s why I want my tomb to resemble one of the temples from the Legend of Zelda series. I would wish my mini boss to be zombies that threw bombs and the hidden treasure to be something lame like silver arrows. This is the legacy I would leave behind.

  8. Jerem Morrow Says:

    “Cremated people get to be a sandbox.”

    Again…wine through the nose…not a good thing.

  9. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    My god, I didnt know Russian playgrounds were so disturbing! No wonder they never play in them.
    I have seen this cemetary though, Im pretty it was the episode of No Reservations With Anthony Bourdain where he goes to Romania and goes on a tour of ‘translyvania’ and such, if that wasnt it then it was definately Andrew Zimmern. Really interesting to see how people actually spent their lives. Too bad America isnt as honest!

  10. Sam Ramirez Says:

    I officially want this to be my tombstone, afyer all my body parts get shipped out to med schools for experiments of course. whatevers left of me will reside in a cardboard box underneath this tomb, I take a vow…riiiiiight..now!