Sunday, June 12, 2011

Monuments, Memorials and Memories

Eloise Cole worked for Hansen Mortuary in Phoenix, AZ, for many years as a grief specialist. Her son died many years ago. Eloise died a few years ago from lung cancer, but her writings and poems live on to inspire us, make us think and hopefully, help us through the worst of times. Below is one of the poems she left us.

Of Monuments, Memorials and Memories

Eloise Cole

The cemetery is crowded with monuments…
a stone or marble or bronze reminder of a life once lived.
He was born; he lived; he died.
Perhaps a cross or rose adorns the monument.
Who was he – on the inside?
What statement did he make?
What lives did he touch?
All there is left of that life is the engraved nameplate.
Memorial plaques dot the walls of hospitals,
libraries, museums everywhere.
Contributions in memory of …
The gift provides equipment, funds, or perhaps an object of beauty.
An extension of the love for one who was born and lived and died.
What statement did he make, what lives did he touch?
When my son died, engulfed by pain,
I often wondered how I could survive.
A world without his presence seemed meaningless and empty.
“What is the purpose of all the pain?” I would ask myself.
As the days went by, I came to know
that the memories of him are still close.
The warmth of his unique and special ways
are as close as quiet reflection.
How important it has come to be
to survive, recover and reach out.
In my remaining days,
I am a monument, a memorial, to my son.
I want it to be a positive one,
to reach out and help others.
Monuments, Memorials and Memories…
How important they all are.
Reaching out to say,
“He was born; he lived; he died.
His legacy is a special one.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of memorials - my daughter was cremated but oddly enough, I found myself comforted by going to the cemetary close to home even though she is not there.

    There's something comforting about it. (for me) I decided when I get somewhere more permanent I will create a portable cemetary. My daughter was an artist - so I plan to have some outdoor tiles made out of her art and make a small (remember it has to be portable) stucco-type memorial to hold the tiles with her name, dates, etc.. and I will put her ashes in a small waterproof container and bury it by her memorial which will be put in a garden... and if I ever have to move again it's coming with me.