I recently spent the afternoon with a dear friend of a very very long time. We went on a photography adventure! Before arriving at our decided-upon destination, we made a detour to the cemetery so we could check on her dad’s headstone. What a peaceful and beautiful place…
There were no other people around… just the sprinklers working hard to keep the lawns beautiful. The sun was shining and it was wonderful. My friend had spent a great deal of time in the cemetery growing up visiting the graves of her family. She took me on a tour of this amazing resting place on the hill.
We ended up in the oldest section of the cemetery grounds. The place was filled with large tombstones. We had to get out and explore! These were the final resting places for people born in the 1800’s. It was breathtaking.
The monuments represented men, women and children. Some were very old when they passed and others were very young. This tombstone was for a 20 year old wife. We were stunned when we did the math and realized how young she was. Her monument was large and beautiful. I wonder what kind of a legacy she left behind after 20 short years on this earth.
If only these stones could talk. The stories they would tell. We saw names that were obviously well-known people from our community… with the family name still alive and well. Most were probably just ordinary people who led ordinary lives. Lives that left a legacy during a time where grand things were created to remember them.
Imagine if each tombstone suddenly had a movie screen, showing the person’s life. How fascinating that would be… hopefully. What if the legacy we left behind was not so positive? Would you want anyone watching your life play out after you are gone?
We live in a day and age where cemetery burials are fewer and further between. Many people opt for cremation and then the scattering of the ashes. You certainly don’t see fancy tombstones such as the ones we visited. Out of sight… out of mind. If there is nothing for people to visit, will they remember us?
When I see really old grave stones, it makes me wonder if anyone living today actually knew the person. When I’m gone, how long will it be before no living person remembers me? I won’t have a grand tombstone as a reminder of the life I lived. Hopefully, the legacy I leave will be delible enough that a large monument won’t be needed to remember me.