Around here, we have something we call "Sedona fever" wherein tourists buy homes on their first visit and move their families here in a moment of red rock impulse. It's easy to see why, isn't it?
|Distant red rocks|
|The magic of Sedona|
|Not an usual sighting|
Since I was a little girl, I've been drawn to Sedona.
It's not a town with night life other than the magnificent stars that shine so brightly you can almost touch their glow. Yeah, I'm a little earth mother anyway and big cities were never my thing.
|Playing in the creek, 16 years old|
Nonetheless, when I moved here full-time six years ago, I felt I'd come home, and I mean this in a big way.
The next year, while out walking one day, I came upon a little cemetery in West Sedona, down a side street behind a U-Haul facility. Never one to resist an old cemetery (surprise, surprise), I wandered in, curiously reading epitaphs of the dead, many of whom were children.
|Cemetery in West Sedona|
I knew the town I loved so much my entire life was named after Sedona Schnebly, one of the earlier settlers, but I didn't know much else about her.
And then while walking around in this humble and quite simple cemetery, I chanced upon Sedona's grave. I was so surprised, and I felt a deep connection with her resting place.
|Sedona Schnebly's grave|
Suddenly, I noticed, just next to hers, another grave. "Pearl A. Schnebly…beloved daughter."
|Her precious Pearl|
How is it that I never knew the town I so loved all my life was named after one of us, a bereaved mother?
I sat down on the dirt by their graves and tears fell. I wanted to know more so I began to research the lives of Sedona and Pearl Schnebly…
It was 1905, and Sedona's 6-year-old daughter was riding her pony when the unthinkable happened. Sedona was there, helplessly watching as her daughter was dragged. The grief was unbearable.
Sedona used to look out the window of her kitchen onto the grave of little Pearl every day. She was so distraught by her beloved baby's death that they fled Sedona several months later.
|The home where Pearl was buried|
Sedona Schnebly did not return to the place she so loved until her own burial 45 years later, as requested, beside her precious Pearl, in 1950.
I visit her grave often now, and I talk to Sedona- and to Pearl- and I understand why this is the only place on earth I want to live.
If you're a provider and want some excellent bereavement care training and a chance to see Sedona in person, visit this link.