As I wander through a local cemetery at this time of year, I continue to reflect on the ending of life–plant life, human life–and the beauty of that life in all its stages, as well as the gift that life is.
Seeing nature beginning to shut down, as trees lose their leaves, and perennials die back to the ground, puts me in a reflective mood. As an avid gardener, I love seeing plants come into bloom in spring and summer. Yet I know that there is also a quiet beauty to these plants as they enter into hibernation for the winter. They have given their all, and now it is their time to rest.
Certainly there is sorrow in the passing of an individual, as is attested to by the various statues and memorials in the cemetery expressing the emotions of grief and pain. Reflecting on the death of loved ones engenders in me a sense of gratitude for the gift of their life and the difference they made in the world and in my own life.
When I think of loved ones who have passed, I experience a joy that they are now in the presence of their God. Sorrow turns to a deep sense of peace and the deep belief that they are well and that all will be well.
“You have pain now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)