“What were you thinking about today while you were cycling?” my husband asked me while we were waiting for our lunch in a Lithuanian palace, as one does.
“The dead people,” I responded.
“Which dead people?” he asked rather incredulously.
“All the dead people,” I responded rather matter-of-factly.
“So we’re worrying about all the dead people in the world now, are we?” Colin always says that if I have nothing to worry about I find something to worry about.
Today while cycling I was thinking about and praying for family and friends I know who have passed away. Over the past 55 days, I have cycled by many cemeteries and countless roadside memorials for people who must have died in road accidents. Every time I see a roadside memorial, a cemetery, or even a dead animal by the side of the road, I whisper the Muslim prayer, “We belong to God and to Him we return.”
I’ve often thought about all the people who have ever walked this earth who are now long gone and buried within the soil. My grandfather died when I was in university. My father and uncles went and visited him in his grave when they could. My father is now gone as well. My siblings and I will visit him when we can. I will die one day and my children will visit me when they can. But it’s only one or possibly two generations of people who ever really remember a person after they have gone. When those generations pass away as well, the dead in the ground are remembered no more. (more…)