Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This may seem an odd post for the last week of advent. This little thought was sitting on my computer in case of emergency - a busy day when I would not have time to post. This is one of thosse days.

When I was a kid and we drove past a cemetery we held our breaths and lifted our feet off of the floor of the car. I am not sure why but we knew if we could not hold our breath that long or hold our legs up until we cleared the cemetery, it was some sort of odious thing.

As teens we went into cemeteries at night to scare ourselves. If you watch a scary movie they so often end up in cemeteries. We create that kind of mystery and awe around them. One of my friend’s grandpas would say in an ominous voice every time (every time) we drove past a cemetery, “You know who lives there don’t you? Dead people.”

I hope you don’t feel that way around cemeteries. I was doing a committal service the other day at a cemetery, commending a soul to heaven, and looked out at the hill across from us covered with grave stones. I was not put in an eerie mood or felt a chill run up my spine. Rather it was more like looking at the graduation pictures in the hallway of my old school; all those faces who completed their time here and have gone on with great potential to live a life beyond the confines of that tiny school which seemed so big to us at the time.

I grant you, if you are missing the physical presence of someone due to death, a cemetery might break your heart – but it need not scare you; far from it. It should be a sign of hope – graduation monuments if you will.


Pat said...

In my small town, we had no park or playground. Thus, our parish cemetery was very important to us kids. Since we lived practically across the street, we went there to "water the flowers" or throw stones in the river which flowed at its edge.

As young children, my sister and I were utterly convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead in THAT cemetery.

To this day I have good memories of being there, where more and more of my family now rest in peace.

Kevin Hammer said...

Reminds me of a column I read recently: