I Want a QR Code On My Gravestone
Well not really. But I had an experience I’d like to share that reminded me to open my mind to the possibilities of deeper things around me.
Both of my girlfriend’s grandparents passed away in the last couple of years. One weekend the rest of the family was in town so we went visit the gravesite. On one of the first glorious spring days of the year, six of us piled into a minivan for a long drive into central New Jersey.
We pulled into a Russian Orthodox cemetery and wound through the grounds past a little Moscow-style church with three golden cupolas, all the way around to the far end where there was a small, quiet section of Buddhist graves.
I had never seen this before, but all of the Buddhist headstones had photographs on them. At first we tip-toed around carefully, barely whispering. It was so peaceful back there in the grass and flowers and sunlight. Were we disturbing the people buried there? Was it wrong to walk over them?
I took my cue on how to behave from her dad, since we were there to see his parents. We turned around and he was crouched down taking a picture of the headstone. I never got to meet them so I was glad it was ok to take a close look.
As we got comfortable we began to perk up. We strode through the rows looking at all the names, the dates, and the photographs. Some of the names her dad knew. Some he didn’t. We wondered about the people who lived long full lives, and those whose lives were cut tragically short. Many of these people had taken long journeys to the United States in the early 20th century.
The photographs were fascinating. Some were of the deceased as young people close to a century ago. Others were taken in old age. Some were photographed together as couples when they first met, or just before they parted ways.