I was going to visit my sister today and on the way I went to visit my mother’s grave.
The cemetery was a madhouse. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, lots of other people had the same idea. Lots of Hispanic and Vietnamese families, some white families and individual white people.
I thought I remembered where it was, but I couldn’t find it. I walked over to the office but it was closed. I did some internet searching on my phone, found the location and walked back.
It was about where I thought it was, but I hadn’t been able to find it. Modern cemeteries are pretty anonymous places, a sea of flat, almost identical markers. It was a different color than I remembered and more plain.
I sat down to collect my thoughts, but the scene around me took my interest. Nearby a middle-aged Hispanic woman sat on a bench in the shade of a tree. She was there when I had first searched the area. She was probably a person of humble circumstances for who family is their whole life. The loss of her mother probably hit her pretty hard. Closer a couple of Vietnamese women lay prone on the ground talking. They too were there for a long time, but didn’t seem too sad. Near them was a middle aged white woman who didn’t sit down, but looked pensively at a marker holding some flowers.
I thought of some things I hadn’t thought about before, so I’m glad I went, I guess, Eventually I got up and made my way back to my car. On the way I saw a middle-aged white woman sitting by a marker with many white flowers in a vase. She had snapped the heads off some flowers and had arranged them around the edge of the stone.
This was a little more poignant than the typical display, but then I looked at the marker. It had a male name on it, one of the more “modern” boys’ names that suggested the person buried there was relatively young.
So, rather than the son visiting his mother on Mother’s Day, she was visiting him- at the cemetery. I had cried a little before but I cried some more. I have had a lot of hard times but the devastation here was hardly to be imagined.
Atheists wonder why people are religious, and this is why. The epicureanism of the sophisticated and comfortable does not hold up well under loss.
I pray for the woman and her son, that she may find some peace now and that they can find complete peace and joy together later.