In loving memory – lest we forget
‘In loving memory of’ and similar phrases are used across the world to introduce or announce that someone very close has departed this life, and that their memory is very special to those closest to them, who are left behind to grieve.
We see it printed on memory cards and mass cards and carved on headstones in churchyards and cemeteries all over the country. And yet it is understandably only when we read it in the context of our own loved ones that it resonates its heartfelt meaning.
To remember with love is a most powerful emotion and it the primary reason we have many and personal ways of doing just that in our lives for our dearest departed friends and family.
November has, even long before Christianity here in this part of the world, been a month of the otherworld, and a time in particular to honour our loved ones who have passed on before us. At this time of year, we take time to reflect, recall and remember the souls of our faithful departed, their spirit lives on.
From dolmens, standing stones, burial chambers, high crosses and single-standing headstones to the memorials that we see in cemeteries and church grounds today; from lockets of hair to the framed photographs, memory cards and countless other tributes, we use these physical things to help with our loving remembrance.
In more recent times we can see a strong revival in the visiting of cemeteries on All Souls Day, November 2nd.
Here in these sacred final resting places, we come from all walks of life with common purpose to grieve, but also to reflect and remember with love.
Lest we forget
November has also become a month of deep respect for the memory of all those who have died in the First and Second World Wars. The dedicated day being Remembrance Day, November 11th when we solemnly reflect on those who have fallen.
Whether on the green fields of France or Flanders the enormity of the tragedy of war resonates across the vast landscape, crosses marking graves, the grief of loss still echoing across the decades. From these vast landscapes of headstones, we inevitably turn to the human stories and personal loss as we see the ages and lives cut short of the men and women, boys and girls who were also the children, husbands, wives, siblings, partners and friends of people who suffered and bore their loss most personally and remember them with love.
– -James McKeon
For a caring personal countrywide service contact McKeon Memorials at www.mckeonmemorials.ie