Sunday, August 26, 2012

How long does Love last?

On the birthday anniversary of my recently deceased Mother in July, I went to her gravesite in Rochester Hills, Michigan at the Guardian Angels cemetery.  When I went, I was not exactly sure why I wanted or needed to go.  Sure, I’m a person who believes in the afterlife, but I’m also a pragmatist, and not much of a sentimentalist.  I think: “Since my Mom’s current life is as a soul in the afterlife, the body she left behind is no more than an empty container… it’s not the real her.  I can’t see that body anyway.  It’s in a grave.  Also, I can remember her from anywhere on the planet, and if spirits can hear humans, then she can hear me from anywhere.  So I was not really sure why I went. 

When I stood over her grave (and the grave of my departed father and my brother Jim), I thought, unsentimentally:  “Hmm, the grass above their graves is pretty dry, sparse and has weeds.  I might pull the weeds.  But what would that matter to any humans on this earth?  Would that really matter to my Mom, Dad, and Jim?  That seems so incidental.  It affects nothing.  Very few if any family members come here.  If I did care for the grass, would I be doing it so that the rare visitors would have a better experience?   Doesn’t it seem that the same minutes could be better spent doing something for my own immediate family members, who are still alive?”
While I was thinking about that, a Chrysler Minivan pulled up several tens of yards away, and an old short man walked out and over to a six foot tall black curved-top marble monument with some Greek name on it.  He made the sign of the cross on himself, indicating to me that he was either Catholic or Orthodox.  I wondered what he thought as he motioned that hand pattern.  Did it help him in some way?  Did it help his dead relative in some way?  Did it help God in some way?   It seemed not valuable.  (I’m being difficult in this posting to set up a contrast.  Of course I see value in it, but not in the way that most people define value… it’s a confirmation of my own beliefs to me and to my God)...  

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