Illustrated by EEK.
I love cemeteries. Not because I love death, but because I love to see how people honor (or don't honor) the past. I've visited and photographed many cemeteries across the Southern United States. The contrast is startling, you can find well-manicured, state funded cemeteries with large, green lawns and gigantic carved marble obelisks situated blocks away from pauper's cemeteries with overgrown weeds, crumbling barely legible headstones.
The most startling cemeteries I've come across have been where the patients of former mental hospitals have been laid to rest. No elaborate headstones, no guardian angels, no flowers or candles - just rows of small rectangular plaques bearing initials and patient numbers. A large number of these people having been diagnosed with disorders such as mania, monomania, melancholia, dementia, idiocy and treated with treatments that included insulin induced comas, electro-shock therapy, and ice baths. While I feel like we are barely beginning to scratch the surface of the workings of the human brain, I'm encouraged to see how far we've come and very sad to see the human cost to get here.
Two partial skeletons stick out of their graves in an old cemetery with numerous broken headstones, surrounded by a broken-down fence. One skeleton states to the other skeleton, "Man, this party's dead." A skeletal arm sticks out of another grave holding a red solo cup. Two ghosts (one wearing a baseball cap and the other in a party hat) chat unassumingly in the background.
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