I Walked Among Angels Today

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I Walked Among Angels Today

I Walked Among Angels Today-1As a favor to a fellow genealogist, I offered to take a picture of the front of his ancestors’ crypt to show that it had been repaired as he had requested. At first, I was a little nervous going into a cemetery that I have never been to before. Let’s face it, none of us like going there for any reason.

I drove around the grounds trying to find the right building and it came to me that I have never been in a mausoleum before in my life. All of my relatives are buried underground and are not in this cemetery.

Surrounded By Death and Sadness

When I walk into that building, I am going to be surrounded by sadness and death. Having just lost my husband a mere 3-1/2 years ago, I wasn’t sure I could do it.

As I continued to drive, I came upon a funeral in progress. I took a few seconds to bow my head and close my eyes in respect. I watched as they removed the casket from the hearse and watched the mourners walk behind their loved ones’ casket to where it was to be laid to rest.

I knew that I was going to sit there patiently as long as it took and then I wondered if there would actually be a person in this world so uncaring as to blow a horn or actually be angry that they had to wait a few minutes until they could drive through the area? Unfortunately, I suppose there are such people like that.

This cemetery also is the largest one I have ever been to and after driving around in circles for a while I decided to find someone to help guide me to the right building or else I would be there for hours.

“Lords Prayer” Mausoleum

The lady gave me a map and it turned out I was not very far away from the “Lords Prayer” mausoleum. I gathered my notes and my camera and stood at the door for a few minutes to take a long deep breath before going in. Once inside, I tried to detach myself from all feelings and just started looking for names so I could take the picture and get out of there.

I Walked Among Angels TodayI don’t know if I can explain the experience I went through today but I would like to try.

As I walked further into the mausoleum, reading through the names, loving quotes and seeing the flowers, charms, beads (which I assume were Rosary beads), toys, wreaths, etc. that were placed on the front of the crypts or at the floor in front, I did not have a feeling of sadness, grief or fear.

Somehow I felt as if I were being watched over by all of the people who have gone on before. I was in their house now and they were making me feel at ease in what normally would be an uneasy situation. By now you are probably thinking I have gone off the deep end which I haven’t.

They Loved, They Laughed, They Cried

Each name that I came across and sometimes a picture, I began to wonder about these people and the lives that they led. I’m sure for the most part their lives were not very much different from mine or yours in terms of everyday life; they loved, they laughed, they cried, they also mourned the ones who went before them.

The longer I looked for the crypt of my fellow genealogists’ ancestor, the deeper I became involved in wondering about every soul at rest there.

I still talk to my husband sometimes and I feel as if he is still with me and always will be, I believe he was with me today.

After about an hour or so of searching, I found myself saying, “Please, Mr. and Mrs. Green, give me a sign to let me know where you are. I couldn’t just give up now. I must have read through more than 100 names and with each name I envisioned what that person was like, what caused them to be here.

Why Were They Here?

Was it an accident; was it natural or at the hand of someone else, did one of the wars claim this life? I saw many crypts that the fronts were blank (waiting for an angel); many had two names above or below the surname (two angels already there); some had only one name (one angel waiting for the other); some had both a date of birth and date of death; the other name just had the date of birth. Was the one left behind still in pain like I am from losing their husbands or wives or had they made peace with it and were just waiting to be reunited with them again?

After realizing I had been walking through the halls of these sacred buildings, in and out, for over an hour, I thought to myself I will have to come back. I am just too tired and exhausted to look any longer. I felt as if I had lived a thousand lives in that short amount of time.

As I walked down one more hallway to go back to the car, it was as if I was being summoned to look to the right; there was a short walkway just outside of the building that I had not noticed before. It reminded me somewhat of a garden and as I turned the corner and looked up, there they were; Mr. and Mrs. Green. I took two or three pictures of the front of the crypt for my friend, read a few more names and imagined a few more lives and then walked to the car.

Before They Became Angels

Sitting in the car, I just rested for a while before leaving. There was so much emotion involved in the experience that I had when “I Walked Among Angels Today.”

I wasn’t sad; I wasn’t scared; I didn’t cry; it was almost peaceful; as if I had been given a unique gift to be able to spend time with so many people that I never had the privilege of meeting before they became Angels.

(c) Copyright 2013 – 2018  Monna Ellithorpe

I originally wrote this in 2013 for a writing site that since has disappeared. I republished this on my author blog which is no longer online.  So I am publishing it again on my new site in 2018.

 

I consider this one of the best pieces I’ve written. Not necessarily that the writing is exceptional but the experience was one like I’ve never experienced before. 

 

I do hope that you could feel the emotions I went through as you read this. 

 

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Thank you and God Bless

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I have been writing in journals, diaries, poems and creating short stories since my teen years. Writing became a way to release the never-ending ideas, thoughts and sentences that rambled around in my mind; waiting to find a place in a story.

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8 responses to “I Walked Among Angels Today”

  1. Thanks for sharing your memories, Monna.

    I have always liked visiting cemeteries. They’re so quiet, even if they’re in town. There’s a small rural cemetery about five miles from us, and I used to like to go there on my long bike rides, and walk around looking at the stones, and wonder who these people were when they were alive. It saddens me to see so many memorials for people who were younger than I am when they died… especially little children and babies.

    Many of the stones bear names that are familiar to me… loved ones of my neighbours. Or I just sit with a journal and write. When I’m in a quiet place out of doors, it’s as if I don’t even have ADD. Mental fog disappears and I can think clearly. I haven’t been there so many times since our two stones have been added. Two identical stones, side by side… one for James (our son), and one for Sean (our son-in-law). Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m not as mobile as I once was, and my bike stands idle by the garage.

    • Hi Willena, You are right. There is a sense of calmness and quietness about a cemetery. I guess this was so different for me because I knew absolutely no one in that cemetery and so many were in the mausoleums. I came from the hill country of Ohio, so not very many buried on top of the ground there. I am so sorry for both of your losses but they understand why you haven’t visited in a while. The heart can go there even when you can’t. Last time I was up north (in the summer), I went to where my mom, grandparents and other relatives are resting and it was a different feeling than the ones I wrote about in the story.

  2. BG Jenkins says:

    I also believe that cemeteries are peaceful places. Where we grew up in Ohio we had a very old and large cemetery where we walked and played as children. It was a place of solace for many of us… a different atmosphere about it. There was a duck pond with lots of green rolling hills. We had so many accomplished people buried there and we would go and visit their graves and think about the history they had brought to our city. It was quiet and a compelling place to be as we roamed the grounds.

    • Hi BG, I guess some would think us crazy to retreat to cemeteries for peace. But you are right, there is a different feel in a cemetery if you are open enough to feel it. I didn’t come across any famous names in my day when “I Walked Among Angels Today.”

  3. Strange how many people seem to like visiting cemeteries; I must admit that I also enjoy the peace an quiet and those moments which allow memories to surface. Not so long ago, My wife and I were visiting a small town where we had booked a hotel for a couple of nights. In the mornings before breakfast I used to visit an old cemetery which backed onto the hotel grounds for a little exercise. It was one of the saddest cemeteries I think I have ever seen. It was obvious that space was at a premium as the church itself was on a hill. To save space there was a special corner where children were buried. The size of the graves was so much more more disturbing than seeing the ages of those who lay there on the stone memorial. I cried the first time I saw the area.

    • Hi John, that had to be a very sad and moving experience. I guess when I saw children’s crypts mingled in with the adults, I didn’t think of it too much but to find a section where there are all children would be hard. I think I’m so amazed at how close you can feel to these people in a cemetery when you more than likely don’t know any of them. Thanks for your comment, John.

  4. Minhaj Uddin says:

    Worth Reading!

    Life is so short that many people who took care of us left early. And the cemeteries are where they get peace. The silence of cemeteries in this rampant world is worth witness. Thinking of one day we too will have to lay down here.

    Thanks for your article.

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