Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Scene from a cemetery...

Many someones were here
Duvernay, QC
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
These are the stones on top of my father's gravestone. They were placed there by visitors - exactly who, we'll never know - and my wife and I added to the pile during our visit there earlier this week.

We also placed stones on my mother-in-law's and father-in-law's graves, ironically located toward the top of the frame, just behind my dad's. Small world. Sad world.

No one can quite agree why Jewish tradition dictates that we leave stones behind when we visit the cemetery. Like so many things within Jewish tradition, it's been subject to debate over the centuries, and we still don't have a singular answer that everyone can accept.

I like to think it's because we're trying to solidify the memory of those we've lost. That a stone somehow speaks to a certain permanence of a person's soul that even death can't erase.

Truth be told, we'll likely never really know, but it's comforting to wonder about it as I stand over the stone, carefully place my own rock on the edge of the pile, and let my fingers linger on the cool granite.

We all need more time to reflect - on what we had, what we lost, and what we continue to hold onto as our journeys continue without them - and a bucolic cemetery in the middle of largely untouched agricultural land is as good a place as any to pause and think.

I have no answers today. But returning to this place for the first time since Debbie buried her dad, it was enough for me to just be there with her. Not everything needs an answer, after all.

#duvernay #laval #montreal #cemetery #parents #parenthood #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

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