In Remembrance

I’ve been spending a lot of time with dead ancestors lately–all of those relatives who have passed a long, long time ago, but still have a connection through blood.   Since today is also the birthday of a sibling who has passed, it just seemed a good day to walk through the tombstones.

Throughout my childhood and teen years, my immediate family lost a grandfather and uncle within a three-month span, and three sisters and a brother within a year and a half of each other.  All were sudden, tragic, and traumatic.  Visits to the cemetery were frequent, and it was always a place of peace and remembrance.  Since I’ve moved away from the burial sites of my loved ones, trips to the cemetery are not possible.   It’s always a stop when we visit, though.

In the process of  researching my family tree, I found a wonderful website where cemeteries can be visited.  I’m so thankful for volunteers who take photos of headstones to help families record their history.  Because of their time, I was able to visit great grandparents in Illinois, grandparents and siblings in Ohio, and sixth great grandparents in Maryland.  I can remember the ones who are a part of my memories and pay respect to the ones I’ve never met.  I plan to visit them all in person in the next few years, but for now I can do the next best thing.

I imagine some would find this activity sad.  To me, there’s something healing in shedding a few tears for those who have passed and hold dear a scent, a memory, or an embrace that  will always live on.

 

 

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24 comments

  1. For some reason this post brought tears to my eyes. Very moving. Thank you for the cemetery link… I think I’ve been there before looking for an aunt of mine that passed some years ago. Cheers.

  2. I have also been working on my genealogy and looking for extended family. Thanks for the tip on the find a grave website. I will need to check it out.

  3. I’ve lost a few family members myself. That’s why I love making scrapbook albums with the old pictures. I’ll have to check out that gravesite link. Thanks for sharing!

  4. How tragic for your family to lose so many so quickly. Life can be cruel and unfair, heaping a lot of burden all at once. So sorry you went through that. This sounds like an interesting website. I’ll go check it out.

  5. I too always remember the birthday of my older brother, who died before I was born. It was only after my Mum died that we were able to put a stone on his resting place. She found it so painful that she could never go there and didn’t want us to either. But now that the place is marked, and some of her ashes are there too, my Dad and my two sisters find it a peaceful place to visit. I’m glad that you’ve been able to find your own way of keeping in touch with those who’ve passed.

  6. I truly believe there blood runs in our veins….it is cathartic for me to revisit cemeteries and pay respect to those I never met or have lost in my life span so far….they will always be a part of us…kat

  7. Dawn. i had never heard of this website until today! I downloaded the app on my iPhone and found the graves of several family members! I am so excited about ths app! I, of course, searched for our siblings but didn’t find them, but I did find the graveyard here in Sidney. I added them to the site if you want to check them out. Thank you so much for referencing this website! Love ya Sis!!

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