Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lest they be forgotten

During my recent trip to San Francisco, I stopped by my mother's final resting place, as I always do, and while there I noticed that the grave markers and area around them were not all in the same condition. I brushed away some dirt and picked up a few small pieces of paper (that likely had been blown there by the wind) and I thought about the programs that help to keep burial places clean.

It occurred to me too that some folks died with very few family members or friends. Who comes to visit the grave then? Nobody at all? They same is true all too often in the latter days of some people's lives. They may not be able to get out and about, and there may be few or none to visit them. How awful! People need to be remembered, both in live and in death.

Some places organize a Tomb Sweeping Day, where families and friends gather at cemeteries, churchyards, and other burial sites, to sweep, rake, and spruce up the places where folks have been laid to rest. During these cleanup days, they don't just take care of areas where they know the person buried there, but the adjoining plots as well. Sometimes it is done in relative silence, thinking about the deceased. Other times there is quiet conversation, recalling the life of those buried. I think it's an excellent opportunity to remember our ancestors and thank them for all their sacrifices.

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