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A Visit to a Cemetery

I went to visit a cemetery yesterday for a class project. It was mystical and beautiful experience. He is the story I wrote while I was there.

A Visit to a Cemetery

I walked slow on my way to visit a cemetery. This is always a surreal experience, even for those who move in dreams and visions and the prophetic, who think constantly about the afterlife.

As I entered the gates, the sun emerged from the clouds, dancing light beams on the grass, and painting rainbows on the tombstone. The iridescent colors reminded me of the spirit realm, a place of peace and joy, a place of my dreams.

As a child, I had a recurring dream of sitting by a pool of water, watching my reflection in the ripples. It was night time, and the moon cast a pale light on the water. Trees waved overhead, their branches reaching down to tickle my hair. Their leaves shown with an internal light, royal blue, velvet purple, emerald green. The colors even now are hard to describe, much richer than those on earth. I felt so loved in this place, so wanted. My life had meaning. Even as a child, I would wake and struggle with the existential questions, and I would long for that beautiful netherworld.

A tear fell down my face as I imagined that place. Or perhaps I don’t imagine. Maybe I remember. Maybe I was there before. Maybe I danced with the trees, and rode unicorns, and made music on a silver flute, before I made that long journey down the birth canal to this planet.

This planet. I looked at the trees around me, back in this physical world. They too had so much beauty, the soft green leaves of the oak, the sharp green leaves of the conifer. I saw a fern growing near the tombstone, its feathery leaves brushing the worn words.

Marjorie Thomson. 1925-1999.

So. I was going to meet Marjorie on my visit to a cemetery.

So she was 74 when she died. I wonder what her life was like. Did she have regrets? Did she have joy? Did a family surround her at her dying breath, or did she die alone, unknown? Apparently somebody loved her because they set up this gravestone, this marker of a life lived on the earth.

What is a life here? Why is it so short? The Bible says that we are but a breath and then we are gone. Gone where? Where is Marjorie now? Is she in that beautiful realm of iridescent peace? Is her spirit free, free to explore the universe, free like a child on a summer playground?

The joy of a child. I dwell on this. I have a two-year-old son, and I love to watch him play. I struggle so much to provide for him. My husband and I have both been out of work for years. I have a master’s degree in music, but right now it seems only a worthless piece of paper. So many dreams, so much hope unfulfilled.

Yet, my son knows nothing of this pain. He just plays and loves and laughs. He is carefree. I long so much to be like him.

Just to be.

Is this what death is like? Even Jesus said, “Let the little children come onto me.” I imagine so. I think the child’s wonder, the child’s imagination, the child’s dream, is our truest state of existence. But somehow we all learn to grow up, shape up, become “something.”

But what is that something?

What was it for Marjorie? What job did she have?

A job is so important in this world, or so everyone tells me. I must work, I must “make something of myself.” As if I am not good enough without that. Did Marjorie struggle with being someone? Did she think well of herself? Did she wonder about the meaning of it all?

Maybe she only thought about meaning at the time of her death. I wonder how she died. Was it after a long illness, or was it a tragic accident? Perhaps she died of cancer, and she spent long hours in bed, thinking about this world, thinking about the next. Was she afraid to die?

I am not afraid to die. I believe that I will go to that world of which I dream. No more struggling with meaning, no more struggling with money, or a place to live or food, no more struggling at all. Carefree. I long for that. Did Marjorie?

The sun has retreated back to the clouds, and a raindrop wakes me from my reverie. I turn my face toward the sky, breathe a prayer, and turn to leave from the visit to a cemetery. Perhaps I will visit again. Goodbye, Marjorie. I hope you have found peace. Maybe you are looking at the emerald leaves and smiling.

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