Hey look, my blog's all different now! It needed a change. Yes, I know it looks like a frumpy sweater but...its a cute frumpy sweater, yeah?
Today for Memorial Day, I went with my parents, siblings and grandparents to the Pleasant Grove Cemetery to visit the graves of some relatives. There was remembrance hanging heavy in the air today, some sorrow, some grief, and somehow...it felt peaceful, restful and quiet. I sat by the grave of my great-great grandparents and listened to my grandfather tell stories about his polygamist grandfather living in the Mormon colonies in Mexico. I felt a connection to these people I'd never met, that somehow they are inextricably a part of my life in every way. I felt, not like an individual, but like a single thread in an enormous tapestry of my family.
We also went to visit Brandon's grave. My cousin Brandon died when he was 6 years old, 6 years ago this Saturday. I was 13 years old when he died. I remember feeling such intense emotional turmoil, as if a hole had been ripped violently into my heart. At the same time, I felt a numbness and an emptiness that terrified me. I didn't think it could be real, didn't think it was fair. Brandon's death made me realize, for the first time, that I wasn't immortal, and neither was my family. It shook the foundations of my world, and I think I'm still dealing with some of the psychological repercussions. However, I didn't suffer the loss alone. My entire extended family banded together and leaned on each other for support, for comfort. From this experience, I also learned how to turn to God for comfort and for healing, and to continue living in the face of adversity.
As I stood in the cemetery, I listened to my grandpa talk to a cousin he'd encountered. "It's been 6 years already?" said the cousin, referring to Brandon's death, "It doesn't seem that long."
"Well," replied my wise grandfather, "Life keeps on going."
As I looked around the cemetery, I saw two little girls running happily among the graves, playing tag. I saw my brothers and sisters talking and laughing. I saw living, vibrant flowers placed on tombstones, and young saplings growing to bring shade to visitors. I saw life continuing, beautiful and bright in the face of tragedy.
Life keeps on going.