Sensory Experiences in Language Arts

Describing Sensory Experiences in Language Arts
Posted on 01/15/2018
St. Mary's Cemetery

On All Souls’ Day sixth graders visited the St. Mary’s Cemetery in language arts classes. They were asked to write a letter to a person of their choice describing the purpose of the visit and the experiences they had there. In the first paragraph they described sensory experiences. In the second they wrote about their thoughts and feelings. Lia Ilagan’s paper was particularly moving.


November 2, 2017


Dear Unborn Child,

Today is All Souls’ Day, the day we pause to pray for those who are deceased. I visit

the graveyard beside St. Mary’s chapel. You could not have imagined the wonders of this

dazzling fall day. The weather is perfect. It is slightly breezy, but rays of sunlight warm my

cheek. I sit on a patch of fallen pine needles beneath a massive oak tree and take in a

soothing gulp of the fresh autumn air with its fragrance of sun drenched pine. As I get

up and wander the wide graveyard, I find F. Scott Fitzgerald’s much visited gravestone

where a middle-aged couple is leaving a gift and a little note. I brush my hand over a patch

of green moss, and gently feel the texture of a newly sprouted pink flower in the midst of

it. I lean against the flaky tree bark behind me, my head tilted back to gaze at the bright

blue sky and the fluffy white cotton balls suspended above. Too soon, I am abruptly disturbed from my trance by honking cars from the busy street nearby. Having lost the peace I had felt

two seconds ago, I head toward the other side of the cemetery, kicking the tiny pebbles that make up the stone path. Suddenly, I hear the sweet voice of a beautiful bird singing. As my sixth-grade class leaves the cemetery, I see a grave dedicated to all the unborn children, and I think of you.

You were aborted. In other words, you were never given a chance to set foot here. I cannot imagine what it is like never having the chance to live on this beautiful earth. It hurts me to know you never got to see what people look like or what colors are. You never even got to hold your parents’ hands! You never experienced love or friendship. It is truly mind boggling to me that any person would kill an innocent baby. You could have been loved by us, touched by us, and warmed by the gift of life! Living, quite obviously, is a daily thing. To deprive a child of the chance to live is wrong. It is heartbreaking to know that you could have been here by my side

in the cemetery, gazing at the same beautiful wonders I am seeing. You could have been here living your own life just as I am doing right now. Even if you never walked on the earth, you are still a soul in heaven. I pray that you are joyful and blessed, even if you were not given

a chance to live among us.



Cecilia Ilagan