A Sacred Time for Gratitude

On this weekend I am reflecting on life and death, on sorrow and joy (see my March 4, 2021 posting: Gratitude: May Be a Complex Blend of Sorrow and Joy). It is the Jewish time of Passover, the Christian time of Palm Sunday, and the first day of Holy Week. And, of course, we continue to be in the middle of a global pandemic.This is a time for reflecting back in time, and appreciating this day, as well as the future. It is a time to reflect on life!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a grave site, a memorial garden, Dignity Memorial in North Hollywood, CA. I typically do not visit places for burials unless I attend a funeral, or if I am near my sister’s, mother’s, and father’s graves in Indiana. But yesterday I was so moved by the large numbers of people present. There were three memorial services, and hundreds of people sitting on the grounds by their loved one’s graves. There were flowers, music, various decorations, people sitting in chairs, people on blankets on the ground, people in silence and sadness remembering their lost family members and friends. Although I am aware of the impact of the pandemic on hundreds of thousands of lives, I did not expect to witness and visually experience such grief directly as I watched through the car window in silence. In addition, there were lines of people waiting to make appointments for purchasing their own plots for the future. Do you realize that there is a shortage of available spots because of the virus? I was reminded that so many people are dying because of the virus that funeral homes can not accommodate the ongoing and continual needs for burials. Can any of us fully appreciate the pain and loss people continue to suffer as they bury their loved ones? This peek into the private lives of unknown citizens touched me deeply as I watched.

My thought for today is gratefulness that I was witness to the love, adoration, and remembrance by the strangers I observed yesterday. Clearly, it was a privilege for me to bear witness to life and death in such a sweet, but painful moment, a private time of grief, but a devoted tribute of gratitude to love and family and friendship.

I am left with the impression that those strangers were saying to us, in sacred silence: Do not waste a second of your life during these days, and always.

This is #gratitudelite following the categories in the February 28, 2021 posting: Your Choice: Gratitude Zero, Gratitude Lite, or Gratitude Ultra.

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