Today I'm posting on my blog twice. This one is a memorial to my dad.
You are probably aware that my dad was cremated after his death in January of this year. This is not something most Latinos, Catholics, or Muslims do very much, but it is very common in Europe where land is at a premium and many cemeteries are full. It is becoming more common in the US although I'm not sure it is the most common form of burial yet.
Anyway, it was dad's wish to be cremated. He was more concerned about cost and not burdening his family with the excessive funeral expenses that our government requires than anything else. But he may well have had environmental and space concerns on his mind. There is no plot in a cemetery and no stone to remember him by. These aren't important. His body will one day rise again, anyway, whatever form of decay or deterioration it is in.
Dad's ashes were buried behind the church in Manchester, CT, where he had long served as pastor of missions and mentoring and as part of the care team. There is a playground back there and a nice little tree. The day after the memorial service we put his ashes in a hole next to the tree. It was a windy, cold, bright day, but it wasn't very pretty in the middle of winter.
Mom had the bright idea of erecting a memorial to dad over the site of his burial. But this is no gravestone. It is a bench. And it is really comfortable. Inscribed on the bacak of the bench is Psalm 23.6:
'Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.'
There is no inscription on the bench marking it as the place of dad's burial. We want people to move beyond dad and remember the God he served. We want this to be a place of rest and reflection, a place where people can stop for a minute and think about God's goodness and mercy. Here are some of the family members around the bench.
We dedicated the bench with a few friends, family, and church staff on Thursday evening, July 8, on a beautiful, sunny day. The trees spread their branches over the bench and gave it shade. The scenery is lush and beautiful. May all who pass this way find God and find rest in Him.
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