Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Importance Of The Permanent Memorial

This evening after dark, my wife, two daughters and I were on our way home from a full day of Christmas shopping. On our way home, we drove by a local cemetery which every year lights luminaries on every grave and in front of every mausoleum crypt in this large cemetery.

The light from the luminary bags illuminated the entire cemetery. The luminescent light seemed to remove the darkness from the sky above. As always driving slowly through the cemetery, reflecting, and remembering family and friends who are either buried or entombed here is therapeutic.

My mind started to wonder and reflect on the families that had experienced a death of a loved one. Many of these local families have family members, which are buried, entombed or placed in a niche within this cemetery.

I thought how comforting this must be for these families to drive through this cemetery visit the permanent memorial site and know that their loved ones are remembered and honored during this holiday season.

I also stared thinking of all of the people who may not have a permanent memorial site to honor and remember their loved ones. How do they reflect, memorialize, and pay tribute to their loved ones? Do they now wish they had a place to memorialize their loved ones?

I have been a proponent for some time with regard to promotion of a final viewing and some type of service when choosing cremation as an alternative to ground burial or entombment. I also vehemently feel that there should also be some permanent memorial site for the cremated remains to be placed. The same goes with burial and entombment, there should always be a clearly marked memorial site.

How does one find closure to a chapter of their life when a family member or friend passes on? Without a viewing, a service of some type and a permanent memorial site how does one realize and recognize that a death has truly occurred?

In a world of constant life pressures, stress due to job, finances, etc. the last thing we need to do is create an additional layer of emotional deterioration, which also creates a more medicated society.

Grieving, and memorializing the death of a loved one is healthy form of transition for all of us.

Let us all take the time to honor and reflect on our loved ones this holiday season. Not only does remembering them continue to honor the life that once lived but also I feel it offers a genuine therapeutic emotional healing process for us.

Although many of us think, everything is all right and think we are not grieving but we don’t understand why things just don’t go well for us in life or why we have a hard time adapting to jobs, life changes, new neighbors, spouses, children, etc.

It is called unresolved grief.

Lets do the right thing continue to honor our dead and use permanent memorials as places of honor as well as a form of therapeutic healing for us all.


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