Yesterday, I buried my great aunt Faye. She was the last survivor of her generation in our family. She died in Texas, but her husband, and each of her siblings and their spouses, are buried in a tiny town just across the Louisiana state line.
Presently, Texas has a travel ban, in effect, against Louisiana, caused by the uncontrolled COVID-19 virus outbreak among its citizens. Burials, however, are a rather timely event, and so we were granted permission to travel there, to bury her.
As I stood in the graveyard, waiting for my cousins to arrive, I took the opportunity to visit my grandmother’s grave. In reflection, I thought of the many stories she shared with me about the Great Depression and her struggles during that time. She told me to always be prepared because, at any unexpected moment, something tragic could happen again to our country. I think that time may be upon us.
I watched as my cousins entered the cemetery, one by one. They would each wave to the others and find a spot at the appropriately prescribed social distance. The service was called to order, the pastor spoke, the music played, the tears fell, and then it was over. My cousin, the only one of my great aunt’s children able to attend, walked from spot to spot, maintaining her distance and thanked each cousin who had come to pay their respects to her mother.
The experience was unlike any other I have ever had. Although we were there as one body mourning our loss, we stood in solitude, each respecting six feet of distance from our loved ones.
I returned to my grandmother’s grave. In reflection, I wondered if this is my generation’s defining moment. Will we rebuild our country to its potential and greatness as her generation did for us? Will my grandchildren one day stand at my grave and give thanks for grandparents who worked to survive this crazy pandemic, protect the constitution, and the freedoms we took for granted three weeks ago? Will we handover a healthy and robust economy from which all the world may prosper, and will we develop the medicines and vaccines of which the world stands in need? I wonder if one day my grandchildren might look upon my headstone and say, “She did her part. She fought like her grandmother before her, to bring America, and the world back to its greatness.”
America is a great nation. Our people have sacrificed for the world’s progress and protection against oppression and illnesses before. Our service members have paid the ultimate price time and time again, on foreign lands, since our founding. Will, we not step up to the plate and simply distance ourselves until this threat is over? It is inconvenient, uncomfortable, and at funerals very sad. However, in the end, we owe it to those who follow to keep ourselves, our nation, our economy, and the world healthy. It is our duty; it is our calling. My grandmother’s generation did it. They battled wars, the Great Depression, polio, poverty, and many other great and terrible things during their lifetimes. They were the salt of the earth, but with perseverance, determination, and gratitude, they became the “Greatest Generation that Ever Lived.” With their genes in our cells, I think we can do it too. We can overcome this pandemic, restore the world to prosperity, develop vaccines, and protect peace for our fellow beings.
Today, right now, prepare yourself, commit yourself, and follow through with appropriate actions to protect yourself and those about you. Together we will prevail. The “Greatest Generation that Ever Lived” did it, and as their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, we will too. May God bless every one of you with fortitude and good health.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.
It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.queencityfuneralhome.com/pushing-up-daisies blog.
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