I went to a funeral today. It has been years since I set foot in a cemetery. There is something about so much earth dotted by man-made stones that unsettles me. Don’t get me wrong, I know they serve a purpose, a place more for the living than for the dead. A place where pain and peace commingle. A place I will never feel a connection too. A place that symbolizes death not life. The only lives in the cemetery are those visiting the markings made upon the stone. Other than a name, date, and sometimes a small note we know nothing of who lies beneath. Today reminded me of the days we visited relatives that once walked among us. Those relatives I remember vaguely from my childhood that are quickly turning into still images in my mind instead of moving memories.
I prefer to keep a piece of the person’s life with me…something I can wear….read….look at. I don’t want to be remembered by a tombstone. Saying goodbye to someone when they have already passed is the hardest to do. I prefer not to be remembered at all in any way that creates sorrow. Death is hard, it is sad, it is so many things to us who are still alive.
Today was a beautiful day and the cemetery was quiet, it was peaceful. For a moment I could see coming to sit and visit with a loved one. Maybe that is the purpose…a quiet place you can always find them. A place of connection? I felt my soul awakening to lives who lived before me and thought if only I could pick a few to sit and chat with…ask them about their lives….what they would do different if giving the chance.
I don’t want to be buried, not because I worry about what will happen to my body or I have a problem with being under that much dirt. I want to be cremated to return to dust so my death can be forgotten and my life remembered. I want the pictures of my life to tell a story, a beautiful story about life and in the final chapter of my story it will read “and she left to live in a land far away where she lives happily ever after.”