The long honored tradition of grave stones, markers and statuaries speaks to the universal need for a visual reminder that our loved ones existed and will not be forgotten. It marks a small place where their remains lay, signifying a time when they lived, laughed and loved on the earth.
The diversity in humanity places varying degrees of importance and relevance for visiting the dead. Some feel a strong need for the closure that a visual reminder brings, some feel closeness and connection by visiting their deceased loved one. Some are reminded of their own mortality and avoid visiting a final resting place. Some find the concept morbid and approach death in a more clinical way, with a sense that a grave only holds the remaining dust of the person and visiting only heightens their loss in missing the spirit of their loved one. The long held reverence for honoring the dead with a wake, service and burial symbolizes the importance of the person and their journey. It will always be a part of life.
The constant evolution of human beings, changing ideas, personal experiences and paths, can encompass our feelings, over time, regarding visiting the dead. Having a marked site that holds our loved ones, whether we choose to visit or not, recognizes that they lived, made a difference and mattered to someone in this big world.