As I sit here during our 16th straight hour of heavy rain, I have been thinking about some of the monuments we saw in the Hope Cemetery. These markers will be most folk’s last chance to directly reflect on their lives. Traditionally, they have been limited in nature. In older cemeteries around the world and here in the USA, they tend to reflect their faith, love of family, or significant accomplishments in life. Many are simply with a name and dates.
I have noticed a trend in more recent stones, the attempt at something more, even including some humor. Also perhaps to try and capture something more about what their lives were about then just the old standby standards. This is certainly true in the Hope Cemetery. This is not about size or money, but what was of interest to those who have passed on.
Most of us have a limited memory shelf life after we are gone. If we do not appear in some historical document that will be read through the ages, once our grandchildren are gone, so will memories of us. But for those who have some ingenuity, perhaps the regular cemetery gawkers of the future will stop and smile at what was left behind and for a second they will wonder what those folks were really like.
So that makes me wonder, what kind of message would we like to leave behind for those who come after us, that 30 second commercial for our lives?