During my undergrad studies in Sociology, I took a class titled Death and Dying. Before everyone starts going crazy, and getting all up in my grill regarding my class choice, let me just tell you that I am not morbid.
We were required to do a fascinating project that included conversations with people who had lost a loved one as well as a walk through a cemetery. Cemeteries are an interesting place. They have so much history, pain, and emotion rolled into one location.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “cemetery“? Does it conjure up feelings of pain and sorrow? Does it remind you of someone you would like to forget? How about someone who changed your life? Each of us can probably point to a single, solitary moment when we were standing in a cemetery.
Perhaps the most vivid memory I have of those hallowed grounds was when I was coaching a girls cross country team, and we had to bury one of our own just days after her sixteenth birthday. She was so full of life. She was loving and caring, and always so concerned for others. She embodied Christ.
I remember the roadway as we entered the gates of Oakwood Cemetery. The procession of cars, each donning the funeral tag affixed to its front windshield. Each of us dressed in our Sunday best (you know the clothes – the ones you only wear on special occasions). This time our Sunday best did not have vibrant colors, but rather the colors of loss and sorrow.
Years later, as I was writing my Death and Dying paper, I found myself walking among the headstones. As I happened upon the area where her casket came to rest in the ground, there was still no headstone more than a year later.
While in Salt Lake City, Utah this past summer, I found a cemetery where the headstones vary in height and size. As winter makes its grand entrance into Salt Lake City, I am hoping to steal away for a few moments with my camera and walk through the headstones and snap a few shots. I am not quite sure what my vision is and so it may just be a scouting trip for another day. We shall see.
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