There is a cemetery just a few blocks from my house. I end up driving by it several times a week and I am always struck by the monuments and flowers for people who are dead. Don’t get me wrong, I get that everyone wants to pay respects and show love for those they have lost.
It got me thinking though. Because I remember when my grandma died and how happy I was that we had spent so much time together. We did a lot together. She was my mentor and the person on this planet that I was closest to. Grandma was cremated and we spread her ashes in a place of her choosing. The family planted a tree at a local garden she loved in honor of her and grandpa. Every time I go there I find their tree. I stand there and talk to her and I cry. It’s been 11 years and I still can’t quite get past those tears.
However, I think about the monuments created for those who have passed on and I don’t get it. I get planting a tree or a bush or building something that serves others. I don’t get putting what my friend calls dead flowers (because they have been cut from their life source) out. Granted I used to do this when I was much younger just because it was tradition.
Imagine instead of putting dead flowers on graves if we planted live plants. If we created something alive and vibrant in a place where everyone goes to remember the people that were once very much alive.
Maybe it’s the way so many are uncomfortable with death that keeps that from happening. For me I view it much like Professor Dumbledore, as the next adventure. I don’t know what it holds, so I don’t worry much about it. It’s so much better to celebrate being alive. While we’re at it, it’s also much better to celebrate those we love who are alive than to wait until they are dead to fill up some land with a monument.
So, right now I am taking a moment to appreciate all those I love who are still here with me and to enjoy the memories of those who are no longer here.
To me, the most beautiful monument we can create for those no longer with us is the memories of them that we share with the world.
Be alive. Be well. Be love.