I grew up =
going to the cemetery. Taking a lunch and tending graves in the =
spring and fall was a family ritual. Playing with the big cannon that =
“guarded” the entrance of Hillside Cemetery became another =
“met” my Uncle Billy and my Aunt Dolores who passed as teens =
decades before I was born. I snipped grass from Grandma Bess who died =
during the War, and then her husband, my beloved Grandpa, who lived with =
us and patiently endured a million questions from me as a boy. And =
later buried my sister, killed in a motorcycle accident when I was in =
high school. Then my Mom, my Aunt Margaret who helped raise me, my =
Aunt Mae and twenty years ago my namesake and dad, Robert =
I cannot say =
that all this led to a fascination with cemeteries over my seven+ =
decades. But while friends were exploring the streets of Central =
City and the old Colorado gold mines, I was walking thru the cemetery. =
Boot Hill was a required tourist spot in Tombstone. Before heading up =
toward the Klondike I walked thru the cemetery in Skagway to read of =
those gone by. I tearfully visited graves of some of my best =
friends in military cemeteries, having given all in an unnamed rice =
paddy in Vietnam. I held ceremonies as a Civil War re-enactor at =
battlefield graveyards. And many trips to Arlington, to show my =
family the changing of the guard and walk quietly in the gloaming in =
those gardens of stone.
People try to =
make light of death, as often seen on tombstones. A couple =
I’ve chuckled at:
**Here lies the body of old John Brown, lost =
at sea and never found.
**School is =
out. Teacher has gone home.
**He did not =
reach 70 going like 60.
**Here lies =
Lester Moore, four shots from a .44. No Les, no =
**I told you I =
**I fought a =
good battle, but I losted.
And the =
poignant reminder from Wall Street’s Trinity Church =
friends as you pass by,
As you are =
now, so once was I.
So, as I am, =
you soon will be,
Prepare for =
death and follow me.
The Bible is =
clear that we ALL will die. “As in Adam, all die” (I Cor =
15:22). No one gets out of this world alive. And a nice stone, =
kind words, flattering picture in the obituary column in the morning =
paper are all good. Memories in lives of the others – kids, =
grandkids and more – keep a part of us =
But death does =
not close the books on our life, for the Bible also says “It is =
appointed for man to die once, but then the judgment” (Heb =
9:27). Only a fool would plan an epitaph, put pix on a disc to =
show at a funeral service and then NOT prepare to meet the eternal God. =
There is one =
word none of us want on our tombstone: “Fool”. The =
time to think about death, and fall on the mercy of God while we can is =
now. “Prepare to meet thy God”.
Dr Bob Griffin =
Knows Me, This I Love!"