With beauty we take revenge --
Flowers on the grave.
Placing flowers in a cemetary is perhaps a way of asserting that death, though final, does not have the final word. Flowers represent the reality that the memory of the loved ones lives on.
Since I live only two blocks from the main cemetary in Gresham, Oregon, I am used to seeing the cemetary blossom in the spring, though most of the flowers arrive through the actions of humans, not nature. What follows are some photos taken in the cemetary this afternoon. As always, these were all taken with my iPhone camera.
This is a pond near the entrance of the cemetary. I see that someone has planted flowers to the left of the bench. People entering the cemetary on foot often pause here and reflect before entering the main part of the cemetary.
A single boquet stands in one area of the cemetary.
A silk flower and some toys mark the final resting place of an infant boy who was never old enough to play with the toys.
An angel watches over a bunch of tulips.
Mother and Father are remembered with matching boquets.
Two generations of family honor a loved one with flowers.
The single date on the marker tells us that the infant did not survive past the first day. In the face of such a tragedy we can only take comfort in the hope of the kingdom of heaven. The family has remembered the little one with fresh flowers.
Leaving the cemetary, I reflect on how flowers help love and memory to overcome sadness and death. The cemetary is a sad place, but also beautiful, especially when the spring flowers arrive.