Wish You Were Here

WYWHere - CoverNearly every tourist destination has a graveyard. You go to Yosemite National Park: there’s a graveyard. You go to Maui: graveyards everywhere you look. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: both graveyards. The #1 tourist destination in Michigan has three cemeteries. America’s best-preserved Gold Rush ghost town has five. Gettysburg is a National Park because it has a graveyard. Some graveyards are even tourist destinations in themselves: the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague, the colonial burying grounds of Boston, and Kennedy’s eternal flame in Arlington National Cemetery. Jim Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery ranks in the top five tourist sites of Paris.

Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel contains 35 travel essays, which visit more than 50 cemeteries, churchyards, and gravesites across the globe. The second edition, updated in 2017, includes an index in the paperback version.

How to get your own copy:

The second edition of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel is available in from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or Bookshop.org, or can be ordered by your favorite local bookstore.

ISBN: 978-0-9636794-6-8

Autographed copies can be ordered directly from my bookstore. To request an inscription, use the Contact Me form.


“Lovingly researched and lushly described, Loren’s essays transport you to the graveyard, where she is quite a tour guide. Curiosity and compassion burn at the heart of these essays.”—Paula Guran, senior editor at Prime Books

“Rhoads is particularly adept at finding deeper meanings in what she sees. The questions she puts to the reader about the places she visits can gently guide us in our own search for meaning in the places we encounter. If you’ve struggled to explain your love of burial grounds to others, this may be a great way to help them understand.”—LisaMary Wichowski, The Association for Gravestone Studies

“Loren Rhoads started visiting cemeteries by accident. It was the start of a love affair with cemeteries that continues to this day. In Wish You Were Here, Rhoads blends history with storytelling and her photos accompany each essay.”—American Cemetery magazine

Wish You Were Here captures well why many of us find cemeteries fascinating: because of the history and stories of so many interesting people buried there!”—Richard Waterhouse, Waterhouse Symbolism Newsletter

“‘It’s good to be a card-carrying member of the Association for Gravestone Studies,’ Loren writes. I agree. After half a lifetime of guided and self-guided tours, Loren observes, ‘What I’ve learned from cemeteries is that limestone melts, marble breaks, slate slivers, and sandstone cracks.’  That is what draws some of us to graveyards.”—Christine Quigley, Quigley’s Cabinet

The book trailer for the first edition of Wish You Were Here:

Additional Resources:

As I promised in Wish You Were Here, here are links to cemeteries I visited in the book that have been profiled on Cemetery Travel:

Vacationing in the Land of the Dead
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia

Where Does One Start?
Highgate Cemetery in London, England

The Empire of Death
Municipal Ossuary in Paris, France

The First Ornamental Cemetery in the West
Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris, France
Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France

Curiosity and the Cat
Hasedera Shrine in Kamakura, Japan – coming soon!

Days of Infamy
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan
USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Oahu

Storybook in Stone
San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio, San Francisco, California

Deep in the Middle of the Sea
Seamen’s Cemetery in Lahaina, Maui
Keawala’i Churchyard in Makena, Maui
Waine’e Church Cemetery in Lahaina, Maui

Natural Progression
Yosemite Pioneer Cemetery in Yosemite National Park, California

Heroes of Filmland
Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California
Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California

Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California

Basin Street Blues
St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans, Louisiana

With Folded Wings
Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in Burbank, California

Those That Have Graves and Those that Have None
Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, the Czech Republic
and the Pinkas Synagogue of Prague, the Czech Republic – coming soon!

The Ghetto and the Small Fortress
Národní Hrbitov v Terezíne in Terezin, Czech Republic

Although Dead, They Still Speak
Vysehrad Cemetery in Prague, Czech Republic

Japanese Ghost Story
Zoshigaya Reien in Tokyo, Japan

Not Fade Away
Jack London’s gravesite in Glen Ellen, California

A Bus Named Cemeteries
Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tombstone Tales
Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Sainte Anne’s Catholic Cemetery on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Protestant Cemetery on Mackinac Island, Michigan – coming soon!

Good, By God, I’m Going to Bodie!
Wards Cemetery in Bodie State Historic Park, California

Half in Love with Death
Protestant Cemetery of Rome, Italy

The Original Catacomb
Catacomb of St. Sebastian of Rome, Italy

Permanent Florentines
Il Cimitero degli Inglesi of Florence, Italy

A Dream of Melancholy
San Michele in Isola in Venice, Italy

Shades of Forever
Hollywood Forever in Hollywood, California

Piecing History Back Together
Rose Hill Cemetery in the Black Diamond Regional Preserve, Antioch, California

Garden of Graves
Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Here Rests the Dust
King’s Chapel Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts
Granary Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts
Central Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts

Sculpture Garden
Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts

Morning in Sleepy Hollow
Old Dutch Burying Ground in Tarrytown, New York

These Honored Dead
Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

“Let Us Have Peace”
General Grant National Monument in New York City, New York

A Cemetery that Once Rivaled Niagara Falls
Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York

Cradle to Grave
Bethany Lutheran Indian Cemetery in St. Louis, Michigan