This may sound a little dark, but I’ve been sitting in a lot of cemeteries lately.
I’m fascinated by how people have chosen to commemorate themselves (and, often, how others have chosen to commemorate them). There are headstones that reach fifteen feet into the air, with marble columns and a clay bust of the deceased. There are mausoleums and gardens. And, there are old, broken headstones on which you can barely read the name and date.
The cemetery almost feels busy, like you’re standing in the middle of a big crowd of people. It also feels like you’re intruding, in a way, to very private moments of someone’s life and legacy.
In graveyards, I am continually reminded that no matter how huge or opulent the headstone, all of these people are gone. They’re dead. These people could have had all the money in the world, with their massive graves and bundles of fresh flowers, but – at the end of the day – they’re in the ground.
So, let my sitting on a bench in a cemetery in Vienna remind you that we only have one short life to live. And, every day is important to that short life.
I bet each and every one of the people behind these gravestones – and their families – wish they had another 24 hours to just be with each other.
So, be present with the people you’re around, and love everyone fully. Don’t waste time living to your happiest, fullest potential, because I imagine all the headstones in the cemetery would rush to tell you the same thing.