Visiting Family in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

During my trip to Michigan, I wanted to visit the cemeteries of my relatives. Luckily I unknowingly chose a hotel right in between two main cemeteries where my relatives laid. Unlike the the Southfield Cemetery, the Holy Sepulchre Catholic cemetery was massive and easy to get lost in.

It was an icy November day, and we wandered around the vast place, looking for our family members.  My mom was relying on her memories of running around here when she was little. Her grandparents were caretakers of this place!

This unique group of trees caught our eye and we wandered over. It was the right area!

Someone had placed wreaths at the graves, we wondered who that could have been.

My great great grandfather, who came to Detroit from Austria and worked as a grave-digger in this cemetery.

I’ve always liked wandering around in cemeteries.  There’s something really peaceful about them.  It was even more special to visit a cemetery where my family members were buried. Most of them I’d never met, but had heard plenty of stories about. Others I have some vague memories of, so I was glad to get to visit their graves.

Visiting My Family in Southfield Cemetery

The purpose of the Michigan trip last year was to visit family members. Live and Dead.

My entire family on both sides is from Detroit Michigan. Almost all of them came straight to Detroit when they entered the country, and never left. There are so many of my relatives and ancestors that I never got to meet, so I at least wanted to visit their final resting place. Since I live so far away from my home land, I’ve never really gotten to visit the grave sites of my relatives.

A strange coincidence is that after I chose what hotel to stay in, I realized it was right in between the two main cemeteries which both sides of my family are buried in..  In fact, both cemeteries were in walking distance of the hotel!

The first cemetery we visited was in Southfield.  A very small plot of land with an entrance that you might almost miss. Except for the sign, which among other things mentions a distant cousin of mine who was a test pilot that died in a plane crash over the ocean.

Me and my sisters with our great great great grandparents from England.

I found out I had a great aunt with the same name.  I wonder what she was like.

Halloween has always been a theme on this side of the family. A great grandmother was born on Halloween and that was her middle name. Her daughter, my grandmother got married on Halloween.  And my Dad’s favorite holiday was definitely Halloween.

I’ve always liked exploring cemeteries, but it was definitely special exploring a cemetery that was home to some of my relatives.

A Walk Down Heidelberg Street

Heidelburg street, in East Detroit.
I had seen many pictures of this house and when I found out it was in Detroit, my homeland, I had to go.
I didn’t realize how big the Heidelberg project really was. It consumed the entire street.
The abandoned houses in the surrounding neighborhood stood intimidating against the cold grey winter sky.  I’d seen rows of abandoned houses plenty of times before, but this was much larger than that.  Many of the seemingly abandoned houses were not quite abandoned though. There were signs of life inside, even if the roof had fallen in.
It was one of many neighborhoods that got left behind. Forgotten as the rich parts of the city grew.
Tyree Guton started this project in 1986 when he returned from the army and found the neighborhood he grew up in, in shambles.
The goal of The Heidelberg Project is to bring communities together, and improve lives through art.
It was easy to see that this project brought a whole mix of different people to this neighborhood, who might have otherwise stayed far away.

 

 

It was a cold day, but as we walked around the sun began to come out and warm the street where people were working to rake up leaves, and as the artist continued to work on his never ending art project.