After many years of considering all kinds of options for care of the body after death, Jay and I decided on burial in a memorial park right down the road from where we live.

After we claimed our spaces, we became regular visitors.  It is so beautiful, it does not feel like “the city of the dead.”  It feels like a park that happens to have a lot of “buried treasures.”

There are no standing tombstones except in the very back.  So the view is of green grass over gently rolling hills with lots of flowers.

There are trees and four lakes.  Turtles come out and sun on the rocks occasionally.  Now and then there are a few ducks.  There are memorial benches.  It is peaceful.

It is intriguing to see the variety of markers on the graves.  Some have basic information.  Some have pictures.  Some have scripture verses.  

One of my favorites is a message that encourages me every time I read it.

“And do not forget to do good, and to share with others, for such sacrifices God is pleased.”

Hebrews 13:6

We have met many interesting people in the garden.  I have found it a gift to give people the opportunity to tell about the loved ones they no longer see.

They bring parts of themselves and their loved ones back to life in the telling.  They only need an interested listener.

Today we noticed an elderly lady sitting on a bench near a grave.  It was hot, but as we made our rounds, she continued to sit there.  I felt led to speak to her.

She welcomed me.  I sat on the bench with her.  And she told me her story … and his.  Her beloved husband was buried there 26 years ago.  She said she came every Sunday after church and talked to him.

She said, “I know he is not here.”  Gesturing toward the grave, she said,  “Well, not there, anyway.”  

She continued.  “It was the last place I saw him.  So I come here and tell him what’s happening.  I tell him all about the grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

I asked her what he was like.  She smiled and said, “So wonderful!”  As she told me about their life together, she seemed to grow visibly younger with each precious memory.  I enjoyed hearing every chapter.

Finally the heat was beginning to have its effect.  That bench was beginning to feel like a frying pan!

So we said goodbye.  I told her if we saw her again on Sundays, I would like to talk again.  She said that would be nice.  

When we were exchanging names, she smiled and said, “If you want to remember my name, you can always find it here.”  She pointed to the memorial stone.  Her name was already there with her husband’s name.

Today was a blessed day because I got to witness again a Love that does not die … a Love that stays connected throughout time and space … a Love that patiently waits for reunion.

Blessed are they that mourn.  For they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy!

John 16:22

About carolynpriesterjones

Follower of Jesus, Seeker of Truth, Commentator on Life, Light Bearer, Water Carrier, one of God's Creations still under construction

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