Perhaps it’s my age…approaching 76 as this is written. Or my heritage…Irish Catholic. Or my curiosity about people…living or deceased.
Regardless of the reason, I enjoy the peacefulness of walking around a cemetery on a sunlit spring, summer or fall day. It’s not a sad experience for me. Rather, it’s not uncommon for me (if there’s no one else around…and normally there isn’t) to speak aloud to my parents, my brother, my niece, my grandparents and others who have been important to me one way or another in my life.
Also, if time allows, I occasionally amble around and read a few tombstones of folks whom I’ve never met. Recently I just did that on a visit to my hometown.
Following are some random thoughts I experienced wondering as I wandered, coming perhaps a bit poetically:
Wondering: why she died so young?
And why he lived so long?
And what he did for a living?
And what made her smile?
And what made him cry?
The marker says, ‘Rest in Peace.’ We say it, but what does it really mean?
They are dead. They died before I was born.
But as I wander past their graves and read their names, I call their names aloud.
I feel connected. But I do not know them.
I hope they can see me. And hear me call their names. And hope that makes them smile.
I wonder as I wander. And slowly walk away. And I wish them well. And smile.Those Catholic Men.