#AtoZChallenge: Life everlasting

Since it’s Good Friday, I’m reposting an appropriate reflection for the A to Z Challenge. Hope you enjoy!

I recently talked about going on junkets with my friend, Sandy. One of our favorite sites to explore is an older graveyard.

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Interesting, old shape.
© Diane Weidenbenner

No, we’re not into the macabre and we don’t visit them at night. (We wouldn’t be able to see anything in the dark!) We like to read tombstones and wonder about the people behind (or as it were, underneath) them.

The stories are different. We may find families that are buried together at different times. Some of the headstones are worn, overturned or broken but you can still decipher what they say. They have different stone carvings depending upon if the person was in the military (denoted by a shield), if they were a beloved mom (a rose) or a child (sadly a lamb).

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So sad when it’s a small child!
Photo © Diane Weidenbenner

We marvel at how poorly managed some of the areas are – many have weeds, fallen trees and limbs, broken or overturned gravestones, etc. It’s a comforting reminder of our own loved ones that have passed when you see a bouquet of flowers or a flag at the gravesite. Someone is remembering them in thought and deed.

My parents were cremated and their ashes scattered in the Colorado mountains that they both loved so much, thanks to my brother. I do wish at times that there was a gravesite to visit but I also know that our loved ones are not literally in the ground. And, if I moved away from the city, I wouldn’t want to leave their graves behind and unattended.

I believe in eternal life with God for those who believe in him. And, I was with my parents and my grandmother when they died. I am more convinced than ever that we do have souls because at the time of death, something leaves the body, that’s for sure. One minute the person you know and love is there and the next, there is just their physical body present – no soul, no personality, no expression. It’s comforting, too, because I know that the person is no longer trapped in a pain-ridden, aging body. God promises us life everlasting with him if we accept his gift of salvation. Since God created us, and we return to his presence, it’s exciting to realize that after death we aren’t alone. We are with our Creator. The one who designed us with all our talents and skills, and our flaws and challenges.

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Grave”stone” is actually
age-resistant metal, with
seams and bolts.

I realize too, after visiting the graveyard, that after everyone I know and love is gone, there won’t be anyone to visit my grave. In some small way, my friend and I are honoring those who have passed before us in history, by reading their gravestones, imagining their lives and bringing them to life for a few minutes in some small way. I guess you can say we’re the visitors for those who don’t have anyone.

Comments

  1. Reply

    We've done this as well, and have been fascinated by some of the beautiful poetry and comforting words on gravestones. Your post is a thoughtful and beautiful one.

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