Bruce Lee died 46 years ago today and we recently made the trip to visit his burial site and other famous gravesites.
It has often been said that we’re all dying. Just at different speeds. Nowhere is that more obvious than when visiting a graveyard. We recently spent several days in Redmond, Washington and were looking for something interesting to do.
As part of our trip we opted to go sightseeing at a few of the local graveyards, to see some famous burial sites.
One of the stops we made was to Jimi Hendrix’s grave located at Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton, WA. Jimi was initially buried in a small, unremarkable plot, but his father later had him moved to this extravagant one in late 2002, reportedly at a cost of a half a million.
Jimi’s monument stood out remarkably at this graveyard. Most of the other headstones were identical to one another in appearance. And most of the portions of the graveyard that we explored, were seemingly sterile and redundant in appearance.
It seemed fitting that his colossal monument stood out from the crowd of the other headstones – unique in death, as in his life. One wonders what level his guitar playing might have achieved had his life not ended foolishly due to drugs.
We also visited the Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle, where both Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried. Well-worn paths to their graves attest to the quantity of visitors they still receive today. Indeed, we went on a Friday afternoon and a steady stream of visitors came and went constantly.
46 years ago, on July 20th, Bruce Lee left this world at the age of 32. I guess you could say his life went as fast as his nun chuck skills were.
A bench placed near his headstone reads: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
Lakeview was quite park-like with its trees and meandering roads through gentle rolling hills that overlooked Lake Washington.
The weather was comfortable and the atmosphere soothing, despite being tinged with a bit of sadness, like most cemeteries.
Five of us wandered aimlessly, marveling at the unique monuments and wondering about those who lie there.
From the simple to the extravagant, they all ultimately entered the same doorway to death.
Simple headstones contrast with other monolithic monuments in the surrounding area.
Many, based on the age of the headstone, are no longer remembered by anyone. They are long forgotten, and nothing but a name carved in stone. Ultimately, God knows who they are.
Funny how death, more so than education, is the great equalizer. The rich, the poor, the famous, and the unknown all meet the same ending and enter the next world with nothing but an answer for how they’ve lived their life here.
I used to be afraid of graveyards as a kid. Now I see them as a gateway. Where does yours lead?