Denis McCormack’s story: Finding a forever resting place for your loved ones

17 July 2023
Wide shot of Melbourne General Cemetery with the city skyline in the background
Melbourne General Cemetery

‘There is no rush in a cemetery,’ Denis McCormack says during one of his strolls through Melbourne General Cemetery. He is a frequent visitor to this location, often spending time tending to his family’s grave and immersing himself in the atmosphere of this historical site.

Denis is known to ride his bike or sit in contemplation, surrounded by the sound of chiming bells, rustling leave and the chirping birds roaming the grounds.

‘It’s like a mini mediation park in the middle of the cemetery,’ he says as he sits and takes in the peaceful surroundings.

Denis’s connection with this cemetery can be traced back to the1890s when his great great grandfather first purchased a plot for the family.

Melbourne General Cemetery is now also the resting place of his parents. ‘Dad left us in 2017 and my dear old mum passed away earlier this year in May. So, she is the most recent person to go in there,’ he shares.

This cemetery lies in the heart of the city, surrounded by modern buildings and developments, yet there is something unique about a space with a history as rich as this.

‘There’s a feeling that you’re in the present but you’re also in a sacred place,’ Denis reflects.

‘It does sober you that we are mortal. We are all going to go in the ground, that is as good as a spot as any and as good a company as any.’

Denis McCormack

Denis holds up an old photograph of his parents and says, ‘There they are on their wedding day, on their own postcard, married within a mile and a half of here.’

‘Nobody is happy fulltime,’ Denis says, reminiscing about his parents, ‘but they had enough happiness.’

He turns to their grave and ends this visit with a promise to return again. ‘And I’ll see yous next time.’

If you need support, we are here to help. We encourage you to visit for a list of bereavement counselling and support organisations or to take a look at the resources offered through our Centre for Care & Wellbeing

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