Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All Saints Day

These are some shots from a walk through Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, resting place of several famous people, including Gertrude Stein and the composer, Frederic Chopin. 

The oldest people buried here are a husband and wife, Abelard (1079-1142) and Heloise (1101-1164).  Many graves have been added since that time.  The most recent I saw was in 2011, but most are very old.  Many are moss covered or strewn with cobwebs; some have sunken over time.

Lots of the family plots are marked by crypts where the bereaved can come to pray.  The smell of incense and flickering of candles can be found at several graves.  As sunlight shines through the stained glass that appears in the back and sides of many of the crypts, color can be seen through designs cut into the doors in their fronts.

After all these years, I still felt as though I was witnessing the grief of the bereaved looking at these graves.  Seeing how they attempted to preserve the likeness of a loved one, or tell something about their lifestyle in the memorial they chose, I understood the desire to make sure the one they lost was not forgotten having experienced that same feeling.

Grief is such a painful process; it overwhelms us leaving both body and soul spent.  Once you have lost someone, I don’t believe you ever really stop grieving.  I think the best you can hope for is to find peace.

Peace to all who are mourning.

From an original post in 2013

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