After a quick stop at the Visitor Center to find out about a two hour tour of Milledgeville, which we are taking on Thursday, we drove to Memory Hill Cemetery, burial site of Flannery O’Connor, Edward O’Connor, and Regina Cline O’Connor. Edward died when Flannery was fifteen, two years after they moved to Milledgeville, and his death was hard on his only daughter. Flannery died at age 39, in 1964. Regina lived to be 99, having moved back into town after Flannery’s death. There’s very little written about what she did after she left the working dairy farm and the care of her very ill daughter.
The Visitor’s Center told us how to find the O’Connor plot, and indeed it was easy. The family are all buried under flat tombstones, with two of Flannery’s Cline aunts and one or two other other in-laws there as well.
Jewish people leave stones as a grave marker, and I hadn’t brought one from Seattle as I intended but Phyllis found one for me. Other people had left pennies, a pen, and a couple of small replica farm animals, like the bull that gored one of Flannery’s characters to death.
Memory Hill Cemetery is beautiful, well-tended, old, quiet; being at Flannery’s grave felt immensely poignant.