Of loss, love and comfort

One glorious day last autumn, I was in a terrible mood and just needed to get out the house. As I was zooming off to the local churchyard with the dog and camera, I saw two tearful faces running behind the car.

Even though I’d been trying to escape their bickering in the first place, I stopped the car and the kids jumped in.

A remarkable peace fell over us as soon as we started looking at the graves.

Churchyards are all about love and loss —

About grief but also about those cherished years of life that went before.

The inscription on this gravestone says:

Tenderly loved,

Missed

And wept over.

We left the graveyard as friends, all petty arguments forgotten.

For the dead do offer the living some comfort:

A reminder that we only have this life

And it becomes what we make it.

“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” -Sri Chinmoy

For more stories, please visit: Our World.

79 responses

  1. I have written bout graveyards as well. I feel very much at peace in these spiritual place sand consider them at all times sanctuaries and I truly enjoyed this post.
    Beautiful imagery and such poignant writing…
    xoxo

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 15:55

  2. This is a comforting post in a strange way!

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 16:09

  3. I agree with Mridula, it is indeed a comforting post in a strange, but beautiful way! A thoughtful and comforting way to begin my day! Love the quote by Chinmoy. I hope you a beautiful day!
    Sylvia

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 16:15

  4. TexWisGirl

    oh, this was wonderfully shared and expressed. thank you for the moment of peace and reverence.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 16:56

  5. Graveyards are peaceful and generate a sense of perspective. Our time is short.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 17:16

  6. first, that heart pic is amazing….can i use it tomorrow for my valentines poem? with credit of course…

    i love cemetaries and often find peace there….we have a great city cemetary that has a walking path and lots of history that i go to often…

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 17:17

  7. interesting choice of post…

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 17:42

  8. Beautiful.. 🙂

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 17:54

  9. A beautiful post. And I appreciate that you told us that every one of your days isn’t absolutely perfect (makes me feel a little less inadequate!). I’m glad the kids chased you down on this particular day!

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 17:54

  10. It takes a reminder like this to appreciate how precious life really is. Thank you for this heartfelt post, LadyFi and your stunning photographs 🙂

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 18:06

  11. “Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” -Sri Chinmoy

    Great quote. I shall use it again….

    You know what? I love sitting up at the Gravesite w/ Kay.

    We’ve planted flowers, hung chimes in her tree,
    & I know that she knows this.

    I feel absolute peace in that place…

    xx

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 18:23

  12. Such a beautiful post….

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 18:40

  13. I’m glad you stopped the car and you all found a spot of peace and a reminder of what matters each day.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 18:58

  14. You mean they bicker?? 😉 Lovely post LF!

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 19:03

  15. ds

    A beautiful and thought full reminder of what is important. Those hearts are marvelous. Thank you.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 19:40

  16. Good to know there are places of such peace available to you.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 20:19

  17. Beautiful photos, yes, there are cemeteries interesting things.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 21:00

  18. Beautiful post and shots. I think graveyards can be very calming.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 21:01

  19. Pat

    Beautiful!

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 21:29

  20. Beautiful shots, each shot is a treat…:) Loved it!

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 21:34

  21. A beautiful marriage of words and images! I’ve always found graveyards to be beautiful places of peace … “for the dead do offer the living some comfort” ~ loved that ~ so true and so profound ~ Great post, Fiona 🙂

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 21:37

  22. I have not visited graveyards here in southern California. I think there is something special and more intimate about graveyards in Denmark, where my mother was buried.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 21:58

  23. sandy

    I feel the same way, and even had the same kind of day! There is a quiet peace in these photos.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 23:11

  24. What a beautiful moment of realization. Life is fleeting. Gorgeous photos, as always.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 23:21

  25. imac

    I agree whole heatedly with you on this – I find Graveyards very soothing and most interesting too.
    Lots of thoughts and feelings pass over oneself there.

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 23:23

  26. A favorite quote which fits your post: “We are all standing at the station. The train is always leaving and the soul checks it’s watch and wonders if its his time to go.” -David Beaird ‘Key West’ Lovely pics as always!

    Like

    February 13, 2012 at 23:45

  27. A very moving post, Lady Fi! Life is precious as are the memories of those we have lost. Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your world today!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 00:13

  28. What a beautiful post, shining in truth. Love that quote!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 00:16

  29. The Ultimate Truth!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 00:23

  30. I find myself filled with great warmth by this post. Thank you for love and comfort you are giving.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 01:51

  31. So beautiful and inspirational. We can always use these reminders.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 02:09

  32. Beautiful!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 02:26

  33. a tonic for the soul. thank You

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral

    >
    >

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 02:50

  34. This post is so heartfelt. I’ve always loved graveyards and have never put it into words. Your post helps me understand the peace and love I feel when I wander amongst the graves. My favorite are small old family ones. ❤

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 03:57

  35. I love this post. This has been my experience of church yards and burial grounds and vast garden cemeteries. They put the moment in perspective and remind us it is a fleeting thing. And then there is the comfort of presence. Somehow, we are not alone. They are their and that solidarity is real. Whatever it is There is peace.

    So well said and illustrated. Thank you so much, friend.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 04:15

  36. Now that is a tombstone ..Tenderly loved…missed and wept over. Eleven years old..very fitting. So glad you stopped for the Anklebiters:)

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 04:28

  37. Old graveyards are nostalgic, and the ancient carvings/stones are so lovely with their patina. The chipped heart is especially apt.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 06:01

  38. Beautiful post. There is a sense of peace and resolution when visiting graveyards.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 06:05

  39. I think we no longer have beliefs worthy of a cathederal or sentiment that extends beyond our lives. Except in these sorts of stones.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 06:19

  40. Wonderful ad very moving post.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 06:28

  41. You should share this post with a link on Taphophile Tragics.
    http://taphophile-tuesday.blogspot.com.au/

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 06:38

  42. poignant

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 07:33

  43. Perhaps this has been suggested earlier, but consider linking this post to Taphophile Tragics. You can find it via Sydney Eye. p.s. I’m glad you all found some comfort walking together your local cemetery.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 08:20

  44. Amy

    So well written Fi…I´ve always thought graveyards were special places but you explained why so much better then I ever could…..

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 08:33

  45. Lady Fi,
    Very interesting!! In Japan, I have hardly seen an inscription on a tombstone. Usually a family name is curved in the front face of thestone. I think if there were such an inscription on the tombstone, I think it would be nicer and more personal. I just felt that maybe in your country they show good individualism and in Japan good groupism. Thanks a lot for posting this!! As usual great photos!
    keiko

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 08:52

  46. great post. 🙂

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 09:33

  47. these are beautiful. “Tenderly loved, Missed, Wept over” pulled at my heart-string. We buried a beloved uncle on Sunday.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 09:36

  48. A lovely, lovely post. Thank you. I have yet to go into a graveyard anywhere which wasn’t peaceful. I loved the Sri Chimnoy quote as well. Thanks again.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 09:48

  49. Grave yards are such strange places – such a mixture of emotions when you visit them.

    SM

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 10:52

  50. Very comforting post, Lady Fi! I love your quotes as well! Especially the last one!
    Have a great day!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 11:24

  51. Beautiful words Lady Fy!
    Happy Valentine greetings from Holland,
    Anna ;-))

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 12:58

  52. What a beautiful post, heartfelt and touching.. also a lesson in it to make our lives better..

    My Yatra Diary…

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 13:03

  53. Nothing humbles and calms like a graveyard.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 13:34

  54. A very poignant post to be reading on San Valentino.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 14:05

  55. Really interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 14:44

  56. Very touching! Well expressed.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 14:47

  57. Very meaningful post and brilliant reminder that our arguments are petty and life short, so it is foolish not to enjoy every moment we can of existence.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 15:03

  58. A very befitting post for the day! I live a few miles away from the Hollywood Cemetery (of the Stars) and I take photos there quite often.

    Beautiful words to go with your photos!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 15:53

  59. Second photograph and eyes filled with tears. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 17:42

  60. Ash

    Beautiful post….with lovely photos and inspiring quotes. Thanks so much for sharing this. Happy V Day!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 19:04

  61. Lovely photos…with inspiring words that goes with it. Thanks for sharing…

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 19:46

  62. A great reminder that what seems so important in the moment, often is not. Thank you for the quote.

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 21:23

  63. What a beautiful post!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mette

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 22:48

  64. “Tenderly loved. Missed. And wept over.” What a testament to a life well lived!

    Like

    February 14, 2012 at 23:03

  65. Gently sobering. I love the quote you chose too. We are all mortal but with a desire for eternity set within our hearts by our Creator.

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 02:13

  66. Al

    What a wonderful post. Death certainly puts things in perspective, as I’ve experienced loss several times in my life.

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 02:36

  67. I liked the quote a lot! So happy.
    Those are very cute objects captured and i hope the place has many such things.
    Hope the Valentine’s day went off happily for u 🙂

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 07:15

  68. I was amazed at the such good condition of the top gravestone, considering the dates on it. We visited an old Hamilton cemetery recently and were sad at the poor condition of the grave stones – most being late 1800’s to earl1900’s. – Dave

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 09:37

  69. Congratulations LadyFi, You Tied for The Reader’s Choice Award in The Dark Globe February Shoot Off! Come Claim Your Blog Badge Here http://thedarkglobe.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/the-dark-globe-2012-february-shoot-off-winners-announced/

    DarkJade-

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 09:56

  70. Sarah

    What a touching,inspiring post! The quote by Chinmoy is lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 10:00

  71. the site Our World is awesome! Love your posts!

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 18:48

  72. JM

    This would also be a great entry on Julie’s Taphophile Tragics meme. Lovely!

    Like

    February 15, 2012 at 19:27

  73. A most beautiful post and wonderful pictures.

    Sometimes it takes the impact of death to make us realize what’s truly important.

    I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day sweetie!!!

    God bless and enjoy your day!!! :o)

    Like

    February 16, 2012 at 01:34

  74. Reading Sri Chinmoy’s sentence. I remembered Mother Teresa’s words. It is not how much we do,
    but how much love we put in the doing.
    It is not how much we give,
    but how much love we put in the giving

    Like

    February 16, 2012 at 10:59

  75. Fascinating capture, both in photographs and prose. Enjoyed it very much

    Like

    February 16, 2012 at 14:41

  76. What a wonderful way to spend your time….. and what precious messages you found……

    Like

    February 17, 2012 at 08:35

  77. A very touching post with wonderful shots! Love the hearts!
    I sometimes visit graveyards too and I always feel peace and awe.

    Like

    February 17, 2012 at 12:06

  78. Cemeteries are a place to find peace and calming feelings. I do love cemeteries in Northern Europe, but not the ones we have here in Catalonia or Spain. Too crowded.

    Like

    March 4, 2012 at 12:07

  79. By the way, your past was so beautiful.

    Like

    March 4, 2012 at 12:08

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