It’s been many years since I’ve visited here. It is a quiet place with gently rolling hills and old trees bending over the names. Each name is a life. Each life laid to rest in a mingling of earth and tears. I remind myself that each life is ordained. Each breath held in His hand.
I look at the monuments. Some of them are grand and reflect a life of earthly accolades. There are flags flying to honor the flying brothers; Orville and Wilbur Wright are buried here. But there are also unreadable names carved in ancient stones, the engraving long lost in years of erosion. And in the end, there is no distinction. We all have the same appointment.
My daughters wanted to come and see my grandmother’s grave. How I adored her, and my heart swells with the memories of a childhood held in her love. The memories run scattershot across my mind . . . playing Candyland, bedtime backrubs, the way she was a bouquet of powder and lipstick. The sum of her comes rushing back, even her phone number.
It was hard to let her go. I was in college. It was February. I had been with her, weeping and singing hymns in the last days. Then I couldn’t be with her any more.
The letting go is never easy. A remnant of the curse. We were made for eternal community, and losing her was such a bitter interruption. But we do not grieve has those who have no hope. Ours is not a hollow hope or an abstract anchor in a shallow shoal. We have One who has gone before us and entered the inner sanctuary on our behalf. Only His blood could atone, and He offers it to us. What extravagant grace! This is the anchor we have for our souls, firm and secure, even when the diagnosis is grim.
We lay her rings on the granite, a makeshift memorial to a woman my daughters will never know this side of heaven.