Archived Story

Write Again … Remember to drink some water

Published 5:36pm Monday, May 20, 2013

A cemetery.

In a city. A churchyard. A small family site in the countryside.

Wherever souls rest from the rigors of their former lives is a place I find peaceful. Lovely and bucolic.

I like cemeteries. A sense of peace, of well-being, seems often to come over me while there. 

In my time, I have been to quite a few cemeteries. When in Europe in the service, I had occasion to walk among the tombstones and footstones in several graveyards. It wasn’t that I was drawn to such a practice. I was simply interested in who was there.

The same applies to such sacred places here as well. On a couple of occasions, when living near Asheville, I visited Riverside Cemetery. I visited the gravesites of Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry. 

And, yes, I like to visit family and dear friends in a cemetery. I think. I remember. I talk to them. Yes, I do.  That’s just me. Perhaps you, too. I just have a sense of, well, oneness with all those — whether I ever knew them or not — whose mortal remains repose in perpetuity among all those markers.

Of course, I read the obituaries in the papers. If you’re a reader of this column, I would think you’re a regular obit reader as well.

The following obituary item particularly appealed to me. It was at the end, following all the pertinent information that is standard.

“In lieu of flowers, Martha would ask that you hug your children, make their education your highest priority, honor your spouse and loved ones, summon patience and make amends, open your heart to those who are hurting and struggling, enjoy the environment, and plant a blueberry bush, and take care of yourself. And drink some water.”

Thanks, Martha.  

I’ll bet your blueberries are heavenly.

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