Sunday, January 16, 2011

When it's over...


Final resting place
Duvernay, QC, November 2010

I was last in this place in June, at my dad's unveiling, and I returned on this painfully bright morning with my mom. It wasn't a happy moment, of course, but as we chatted quietly on the way back to her house, I was glad we had come here. Not because it changed anything, but because it gave me - and presumably her - a rare opportunity to try, impossible as it may seem, to figure out where we all go from here.

Every time I'm here, I feel as far away from reality as I can possibly get. I know cemeteries represent the logical end of our life's journey, and I can walk endlessly through virtually any other graveyard on the planet. It's easy when I'm disconnectedly learning about the lives of others, but not so easy when those are my family members' names inscribed on the headstones.

I'm pretty sure my quick photography session on the way back to the car violated some of the rules of protocol of this place, but I didn't want to return home with nothing but empty, sad thoughts bouncing around my head. As it it, the thoughts remain sad. But at least they now have an accompanying visual.

9 comments:

bruce said...

loss is never easy, and the cliche of time heals all wounds is just that a cliche...

i still feel the pain of losing my father and it has been nearly 14 years.

the picture is haunting and yet somehow peaceful at the same time...

as far as the rules and protocols, well, it is all in the perception and belief. i do not believe that there is anything wrong with you taking a bunch of pics...

take care!

Bruce
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Karen S. said...

People will continue to say "It's never easy..." even those that haven't experienced loss yet. But reality hits hard when it finally happens, and if I may add, our memories of them will live forever in our hearts....and for me I visit, I even talk about going to see my dad like I could take him to lunch. I also take photos every time I decorate his head stone,(as well as the seasons changing) or discover flowers from someone, and I send the photos to his brother in Maine and sister in Michigan....My father's spirit lives on....he isn't going anywhere without us....following along.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

First, of all, the photo, I like.. I like the way the shadows hit the markers... all symmetrical... As far as loss, it is hard, I had to deal w/4 losses in a 5 year span, each one different because of the relationship... My husband's ashes are in a wall at the cemetery which happens to be in a garden setting.. I only have one photo of his marker w/his name on it.. I've gone back periodically to take random photos of the cemetery. Its so peaceful, and lush.. Also, the cemetery has some famous statues as well an El Camino bell which was a marker for when the missionaries used to mark their trek thru Calif. The picture can be taken as sad and it definitely does tell us of how our demise will be... I guess we can take comfort in knowing we have to make each day count and be forever grateful for the time we do have here w/family and friends.

Lynne H. said...

My Father passed 6 yrs ago, and although the edge of pain has dulled some, the mising never goes away. His ashes are buried at Arlington National Cemetary and I am finally strong enough to go there this spring.

Carmi, your Father lives within you and now he wants you to embrace him and live fully and happily..

Such a haunting shot..
Peace to you my friend!

becca said...

so sorry about your dad the picture is beautiful but it is sad to se headstones lines up. i guess sometimes beauty comes in the form of sadness

fredamans said...

Such beauty can come from most morose of times.

PastorMac's Ann said...

I'd like to say you "get over it" - this grief that comes from losing someone so dear, so special. Or perhaps you "get used to it," but my mom has been gone for more than 7 years now and that's yet to be the case. I suppose that can say that I've "learned to live with it." There was really no other choice. And when I go back to the place where she is laid, I only feel the heavy weight of the huge void her absence left me with. I have photos of that place, protocols or no, i had to leave with something.

Amazing photo.

I'm truly sorry Carmi, for the loss of your father.

Jules~ said...

I understand.
I am so glad you were able to go there with your mom and be a support to each other.
When my father passed two months ago it was such a hard thing for me to be at his funeral. I had been to so many funerals before then and like you said..it wasn't difficult. I valued and celebrated each life as I tried my best to be supportive and respectful to the families. But seeing my father's body laying there, even though I helped prepare him for the funeral home to pick him up and I knew the real him wasn't there but in heaven with God, I couldn't even walk into the viewing room for an hour when I his casket was open. I kept thinking I could do it but I just couldn't. It is not that I would have wanted him to come back and deal with the pain of his cancer. Seeing him there was just so final.
(I am sorry I am rambling. Dear God I hope I am not saying anything that would bring you more hurt for it is not my intention)

I must admit that in the midst of cleaning up his house and getting everything ready to come back home, I never thought to go to the cemetery before leaving Texas. That is the one thing I regret. I have no reason to ever go back to San Antonio.

Carmi I am so sorry for the pain you feel in missing your father. I am praying for your comfort in knowing you are never alone. I pray for each treasured and cherished memory of your dad to bring a smile to your face and heart. They are your riches that no one can take away from you. You carry them wherever you go and they make you the man you are today of integrity and character as you speak into the lives of your children.

God bless you today.

kcinnova said...

Pictures taken in a cemetery are not wrong, I believe, if they are done in a respectful manner. This one qualifies.