This I Believe

Edward - Baldwin, New York
Entered on September 25, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: afterlife, death

I am the Director of Sales & Marketing of a large Cemetery. Daily I come into contact with people who have sustained a loss and are stricken by grief. More often though I engage people wishing to arrange future needs so that family and friends are relieved of the obligation of knowing the mind of another.

As I have aged and engage my own thoughts of what we all must one day face I have reached certain beliefs.

For this I believe:

Perhaps growing old is defined by knowing more people who have died than are alive. If that is so I have been older longer than I have been young.

Those remembered live constantly within my heart and mind. They are intertwined with my who. I can not take a step without a memory bubbling up from deep within the recesses of my mind bearing an image that recalls one no longer there. So rarely do I walk alone. In step are legions of old friends and loved ones. Their shadows define me.

There is never fear associated with the memories. They are like any old friend or family member whose presence exudes love and provides comfort. I am pleased to speak with them and find the compass of my life from the responses I hear clearly spoken. Though the conversations help ease the sense of loss their physical absence always breaks my heart.

I need not engage in the debate of whether there is a heaven or hell. Knowing that daily I have contact with loved ones who touched my soul the question warrants no consideration. I accept one day that I will be walking alongside those I miss so deeply. Accepting this as a fact does not make me wish to hasten joining them but removes trepidation about the journey.

My life is full. I have been blessed by people who loved me. They gave with their hearts. No price tags were attached nor expected. My constant fear was that when I die the memories of those who continue to live within me would perish.

I have come to realize though that I will one day be a memory who speaks to those I leave behind. Within my voice that will speak long after I have passed on are all those who have made my life special.