Perspective: A Sign Of Immortality

Sep 2, 2020

Sometimes, I take a walk through a cemetery near my house. There's nothing morbid about it. In fact, I enjoy cemeteries, and during a trip, I insisted on seeing the cemetery of a small French town, and we found the tomb of Marc Chagall. I felt vindicated.

The one near my house has no celebrities that I know of. It looks a bit abandoned, despite some shiny headstones here and there. When I walk through it, I stop to contemplate some groups.

There's an entire family -- they have the same last name -- that makes me think they're together, like sharing an eternal Thanksgiving.

There are also several small headstones with a man's name first, and a woman's below it, with the title "wife" added. Were they stoic? Were they good neighbors? Did they like music?

I also find it mystifying that some headstones have just one name, nothing else, as if that were enough.

Is this immortality? That you may be known by your first name? That your family will be buried around you, in a section of the cemetery? It may seem odd, but to me there is some measure of immortality in their choice of headstone. That's how those Finnish, Swedish, German and British last names tell stories of struggles, success or failure. They left an imprint visible today. If that's not immortality, tell me what is.

I am Francisco Solares-Larrave, and that's my perspective.