An Evening Stroll Through River View Cemetery Post-Memorial Day Weekend

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, but tonight as I walked amongst the graves of fallen soldiers from the Civil War at River View Cemetery, it was with a sense of gratitude and observance for each one.

After seeing this grave from 1911, for the infant sons of R.D. and G.B. Morse, I got to thinking about loss, life, and death.

And then I came across the poem "A child said, What is the grass?" by Walt Whitman, and thought about death not in terms of finality but in terms of connectivity and continuity. Here is an excerpt from Whitman's poem:

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . . and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
luckier.

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