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Death – A Final Step towards Equality

by Sarah Hill

in Beautiful Thoughts

While running through my local cemetery on a sunny afternoon, I looked over the hundreds of headstones and realized my city’s past was laid out in front of me.  I’ve always loved cemeteries.  There’s something in their quiet, calming atmosphere that has always somehow intrigued me.  Before now, I couldn’t figure out why they were so peaceful when the rest of our world is so chaotic.

Laid out before me was the past, present and future of  my town.  The past was there in stone blocks, carved into our world forever.  They were all there in one place.  The only thing separating the rich from the poor was a few feet of dirt or perhaps a fence bordering a family plot.  The founders, the bridge-builders, the soccer moms, the business owners, the business goers, the firefighters, the fire victims, the teachers, the senators, the doctors, the policemen, and the criminals they kept from our streets; everyone was in that one place.  Everyone had only a coffin or a cremation urn and a piece of stone showing they had existed.  Burials are a tradition that has lasted centuries.  We all start the same, babies in the arms of a mother; we all end the same, a headstone with a coffin or a urn of ashes.

The present was also there in the cemetery with me.  The ever constant flow of mourners pulsing in and out like clockwork.  Cars that circulated the paths, leaving only to come back the next birthday or Easter or Christmas.  Death can only be shown and appreciated by those that are still living, the survivors that value life as much as they mourn death.

The final piece in the cemetery, the future, stood before me.  Each headstone bore a name and a date.  They all represented a real person and that real person walked and talked.  They impacted the lives of the people they walked and talked with.  Everything we do is connected, every person is capable of changing the future.  Not only that but people have children.  Their children grow up and have more children and so on, meaning that every single father and mother in the cemetery started a line of people, each with their own impact on the future.  Life is a moving cycle and even when people die, their descendants live on.

There is beauty in these simplicities in life.  No matter what our society does, whatever barriers we put up, we all have the same fate.  No one can change that, but who would want to?

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