Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten

One of my families traditions on Memorial Day is to go to the cemetary to "visit" relatives who have died. It's a pretty neat tradition as most of my deceased realitives are buried in the same area and going to their graves is a way to remember them and pass along our heritage. About fifty yards from all of the McAdams' grave stones is where Mr. Lamb is buried. Mr. Lamb died in 1887 and when his family moved away from the area my great-grandma promised his wife that she would take care of his grave. This tradition has passed down to my grandpa, to my mom, my sister and now my daughter.

Recalling my family members buried there is easy. We have stories. Photographs. Memories. But what about Mr. Lamb. What was he enjoy doing? Who did he love? I always find it sad to see the tombstones that haven't been visited for decades such as Elma--who "resides" a few plots over my my family but hasn't had family visit for decades. At least these graves are in a well taken care of cemetery. There are probably thousands of small little cemeteries across the country where our ancestors have been buried and the area has been reclaimed by the environment. The cemeteries have become overgrown and forgotten. What about those people? Have they been forgotten except for an old faded stone?

Feeling sad for the dead who have seemingly been forgotten shows my worldly thinking. God, who knows the numbers of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7), has not forgotten them. I would say that not only have they not been forgotten but that they are now in the presence of God and doing MUCH better than we are. Why am I feeling bad for them because there are not flowers there on memorial day or because the writing on their gravestone is becoming unreadable. I should be jealous. They are in our Father's presence, reunited with those that they loved. You and I are the ones who are still in "exile."

Mr. Lamb has not been forgotten. Nor has Elma. Nor have you or I. And there is no need for me to be jealous. Because no matter how alone we feel God is always there desiring a relationship with us. God is always there to guide us. He has not forgotten us just has he has not forgotten those in an unmarked grave. As long as our life goal is that relationship with God--through the valleys and peaks--then there is no need for us to worry about what the condition of our tombstone will be like 100 years after our death. Even if our grave isn't visited like Mr. Lamb's we still won't have been forgotten.


  1. Jamie,
    Glory be to Jesus Christ! I found your website the other day and especially liked your post about "going blind." If you have 'statcounter' or some other statistical analysis gadget you may have noticed a few hits from "" because I linked to your post.
    I also liked your post about visiting cemeteries. I too like to pray in in Catholic cemeteries because it connects me with all those Catholics who have struggled to pass on the faith to the next generation. However, I would like to comment on your statement, regarding Mr. Lamb: "I should be jealous. They are in our Father's presence, reunited with those that they loved." We should not assume that everyone who dies goes to heaven. We do not know the state of Mr. Lamb's soul at the hour of his death and the only people we know for sure are in heaven are those which the Church has canonized. Furthermore, if we assume that someone is already in heaven they we stop praying for them. Who knows? Mr. Lamb may be waiting for you to offer a Mass or say rosary for the repose of his soul. I hope that when I die people don't say "He is heaven with God" because then they will not offer prays for the repose of my soul and I could be stuck in Purgatory for "a long time."

  2. Yes, I have noticed the activity. Thanks for the link. And you are absolutely correct and I do keep that in mind and should have mentioned that not everyone gets to heaven.