There is a place I like to go for a walk when I am working in Saint John. It is quite peaceful and the many inhabitants allow me to reflect in silence. They do not disturb me, do not judge me, only offer me glimpses of “their story “.
It may seem an odd choice for a stroll but the cemetery is beautifully cared for with curving paths and shaded lanes. Hundreds of souls repose here and the loving words bestowed upon them- chiselled on their gravestones fill me with wonder as to who these dearly departed might be. This is not a new thing for me to do as witnessed by this photograph taken of me in Highgate Cemetery, London, England in 1985.
Here lies a magistrate from a century ago, his wife interred by his side but seemingly pre-deceased by their infant daughter. Over here; an entire family. There to the right ; a fallen soldier . Over the hill; a beloved mother and many tiny angels throughout, their lives cut short.
Such loving words and homage to these resting souls. Oh how I wish for them that such love and reverence was handed them when they lived.
How wonderful that some memento of who these people were , be left behind so that many can come to know that this person has not only passed “on ” but passed here on this earth.Take this character right here ; he may have known a person – who heard tell of your friend – who set eyes on you – one day when you needed it, giving proof that we are all connected before as now as after.
I find myself stopping especially in front of those markers with very little said about them. I am hopeful that little is said because they wanted it that way, because they were humble people who were larger than words and thus did not require any when all was said and done. But… just in case… I linger a little giving these unknown souls some thought in case their lives went by without anyone giving them any thought at all. They deserve some remembrance , some moment of pause.
As I wander through the worn paths I can’t help but wonder what will be etched into my own tombstone? How will I be remembered? How many people will mourn my passing or a better question still; who will celebrate my life?
This solidifies for me that I should be living my life in a way that I would like to be remembered.
How about you dear reader? How would you like to be remembered?
Hmm… are you thinking about it right now?
No need to reply to me . My work here is done.
And I have even done the walking part for you! 😄