Pondering the Pavement

September 7, 2013

Carved In Stone

ImageI have always had a love of cemeteries. If you know me, even slightly, then you know this little personal morsel. As a child, I would spy a graveyard from the confines of my grandfather’s Buick and demand he stop the car so I could check it out. He would say, “But we don’t know anyone buried there!” Oh, please. Like that was a credible reason. And, of course, he wouldn’t stop. Grownups just didn’t get me. To this day, if I spot a cemetery along any given route, I will stop and wander through for a bit. I cannot pinpoint my fixation to any solitary thing. I find them comforting and peaceful as well as just plain fascinating. Each and every resting place serves as slivers of living—pardon the fully intentional pun—history, brief glimpses into people you may not know but yet share a common element: mourning a loss. The grave often gives us a chance to reflect upon and celebrate the life of the person interred. I experience such warmth when I spot graves that are brightly decorated, often with random, yet very personal, bits and pieces.

I have seen final resting places decorated with everything from margarita glasses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to bottles of India Ink and cow-themed wind chimes. I’ve seen the small grave of a little one gone too soon blanketed with an array of their beloved toys. A grandfather’s love of fishing was easily proven with a rod & reel attached to his headstone. The woman whose blatant love of casinos was shared in an epitaph, chiseled forever in granite, for all to see: ‘I’d rather be in Vegas.’ Tears of sadness and joy, mixed together, simultaneously grasping the loss while finding comfort in what made each person unique. How do you wish to be remembered? Words or actions? Collections or recollections? I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I have a thought or two for my own…

Robert, my Master Guide, once described the physical life as a yardstick (apologies to my metric fans out there). “One’s life covers allllll this space,” he said, spreading his hands over the full three foot span. “And yet, when one has passed, so many only focus on this tiny sliver,” he continued indicating the very end of the stick. “All that was measured prior cannot be forgotten. Do not permit the grief to block out the true evidence of the life lived and shared. It is all measured.”

I understand the pain of loss. We all do. It is inevitable. And, frankly, you need to mourn, to grieve. Sadness, just as joy, is vital to the human experience. You cannot raise yourself above it for it is part of what makes you human. While the initial loss can be devastating we can often find comfort in the memories, allllll those other moments that filled the space prior to death, as Robert pointed out. While I deeply mourned the loss of a dear friend, I find myself, time and time again, recalling our last Thanksgiving together. It was nothing short of a modern retelling of a classic 1930’s screwball comedy. That memory alone has carried me through some rough patches.

I find that Spirit often utilizes humor in their communications with us. Recalling a funny incident, relaying a comment that is “just so like them.” It not only gives you evidence of their continued existence, but it also gives you inspiration to heal, move forward, and smile as you think about them. Some believe dealings with Spirit are to be solemn proceedings; void of what I feel is the true human touch. Sorry, but I disagree. As noted psychic Hans Christian King has said, “They’re not deity’s people. They’re just plain folk.” Respond to them now as you did when they were here: with love and laughter.

“There is no moment or memory that is too small. Just take the time to allow the light to shine divinely and watch it all grow within your heart, your soul. This light will surely enhance even the smallest of gardens, providing you with shade and comfort from this day onward.”

– Robert

Copyright © 2013, Charles A. Filius

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