A Gift For Abelard & Heloise


Carolyn guessed correctly that I was taking my bouquet to Père Lachaise cemetery, the burial place of many people famous in their day and in their death. Many know that Jim Morrison of The Doors fame is buried there, but some may not know that Moliere, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Isadora Duncan, Edith Piaf, Camille Pissaro, Richard Wright and Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas rest there as well along with too many others to name here.  While many of these grave sites would have been a good place to leave my flowers, I had a different location in mind.

As you can see from the title, I took my bouquet to the shared grave of the famous lovers, Abelard & Heloise who while separated by horrible circumstances in life, now lie together in death. I’ll leave you to read the stories that tell the tale of love, separation, and the loss that accompanies their doomed love affair. Much has been written and I’ve long been interested in the letters they left behind in The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Penguin Classics). I’ve owned a copy for longer than I can remember and still take it off the shelf from time to time to reread parts of it.

They were secretly wed in real life and I thought it a sweet gesture to leave my wedding bouquet where modern day lovers or those who are loveless have left their own letters for years. If you know the story of Abelard & Heloise, it may seem odd to leave a happy token of our special day in a place where one might see only the sorrow of lovers separated in life, but I tossed my flowers over the iron fence that surrounds their grave for Heloise who never wished to be the bride of Abelard (because of her love for him and her fear of the consequences) or of Christ, but seemingly followed the wishes of the man she loved to the end of her days. It’s a romantic gesture of hope for lovers who wish for deep and abiding love.  

My images are not quite as I would have wished…the grave site had scaffolding around it as repairs were being made to to the aging monument and it was difficult to get a clear shot without the barriers.


Two Heads Side By Side On Pillows Of Stone




Angling For A Good Landing Spot

Angling For A Good Landing Spot

My Overhanded Toss Of The Bouquet Captured By John

My Overhanded Toss Of The Bouquet Captured By John

Perfect Landing!

Perfect Landing!


Abelard & Heloise

A Gift For Abelard & Heloise

8 thoughts on “A Gift For Abelard & Heloise

  1. Lovely!! I ‘nominated’ Abelard & Heloise when Cherrye at My Bella Vita was listing romantic couples. I think I’ll head up there right now! (I have to admit, I’ve never read a full history of their story. That should be another goal as well.)

    • Oh my! That is too cool…thanks for doing that Kim. I’m so glad that it hasn’t been swept up and carried off as rubbish. Maybe it can still bring a few more smiles before that happens. Thanks again!

  2. Hello – thanks for your lovely comment on my website! I had been on yours earlier but didn’t have time to read the whole story –
    I’m glad you left a happy token for Heloise. Reading their letters I’ve always felt much more uneasy about her, than about him.
    I didn’t realise they are on Pere Lachaise – I’m pleased to know, thank you. I’ll go visit them myself next time I’m in Paris!

  3. Absolutely brilliant!

    And how cool Kim saw your bouquet still there.

    Well done, and love the photos (including John’s of the aim and precision throw …) and especially the bouquet after it landed.

  4. Hello, how exquisite both the thoughts behind the photos and the photos. Thank you! My husband has been doing a series of essays on Abelard and Heloise on his radio show in the middle of the night: http://revradiotowerofsong.org/5questromance/impossiblelove.html
    Difficult to describe his completely unique programming style of these many years, but if you are able to hear his two hour a week midnight to 2 a.m. PST program, you may find . . wonder, delight, and depth, as I do . . .

  5. What a fantastic gesture. I’m currently writing a short story set in Pere Lachaise and came across your blog when researching Heloise and Abelard. Amazing blog, really inspirational. I’m right with you on leaving the corporate world to follow your dreams. Bravo

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