One of the main reasons for picking LA for our travel destinations was because it is where Marilyn is laid to rest.
On the 8th August 1962 was Marilyn’s funeral, 3 days after her body was found in her home in Brentwood. 53 years after her death hundreds of fans from around the world go to visit her. And on July 13th I was one of them.
Paul and I arrived at Westwood Cemetery not exactly knowing how we were going to feel. Many people who had been there that I have spoken to said they felt happy there, some said they cried. We walked up the path and on our left was a tinted crypt. You knew it was Marilyn as she stood out right away.
I decided to snap a couple of photos, simply for my own personal benefit and memory. However, I wasn’t feeling right having a photo taken with her grave at that time. I’m not sure why but it didn’t exactly feel right to do so. I know many have done so and I have no judgement against them – it just wasn’t for me.
I stood there for a while. I didn’t cry surprisingly but I felt a strange comfort being so close to where a wonderful woman and talented actress lay. I touched the crypt and walked away. Paul had already left me to have my moment so I went to go find him.
As I walked away a car pulled up, a man got out and sat on the Marilyn bench I had been sat on moments before. I decided to sit on a bench nearby and watch. He sat there, staring at Marilyn. He didn’t take his phone out, just sat. After a few moments he walked up to Marilyn’s crypt and put both hands on it. He closed his eyes, hung his head down and stood there shortly before walking back to his car and driving off.
After that moment I started crying, I walked back to Marilyn. In my head I said “See Marilyn? The world still loves you.” I kissed the crypt (despite knowing that many had put there lips there, hence the pink discolouration) and walked back to Paul, who was currently visiting Dean Martin.
We walked around the beautiful and peaceful memorial park visiting each grave including the director to some of my favourite movies, Billy Wilder.
Now to talk about another special moment in Westwood… As we walked around the graves we came across an elderly lady crying. As we walked by and looked down to see who she was crying for. She said “That’s my sister.” We stopped and listened to stories about her sister who was the only African American buried in Westwood. She told us about her talent, her wonderful singing and her musical family. Her name was Minnie Julia Riperton-Rudolph.
It was a very moving and beautiful morning. A day I will never forget.