DARLING Julia (1956 – 2005)


Situated in the Consecrated/West Section of Jesmond Old Cemetery.

Julia’s friend, Mr Tim Dalling, informed us of the lovely person that she was and pointed us in the direction of her work and the following brief details are taken from her website.

Julia Darling was one of the U.K.’s most important and passionate advocates of the importance of creativity in healthcare. She thought poetry was something which should involve doctors, healthcare professionals and their patients. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994, Julia began to explore her own experience through writing and her poetry books ‘Sudden Collapses in Public Places’ and ‘Apology for Absence’ are her own eloquent testimony to living a life with a life-threatening illness.

Julia also wrote a poem about Jesmond Old Cemetery, which we absolutely love:


I went to old Jesmond Graveyard
to find my plot, to mark a place.
Doug from Bereavement showed me a spot
green and reflective, under a willow.
He apologised for the trimming of the weeds,
he liked it messy, overgrown,
but the government had made stipulations
for health and safety, things must be neat,
in case of gravestones squashing children,
so raggy old Jezzy was having a clean up.
But you know, said Doug, death isn’t tidy.
It’s a plague of knotweed, a bed of nettles,
a path through thistles, that’s how it should be.