Honoring the dead is done with such care here. The church yards with the orderly graves are tended with meticulous care in Sweden. Flowers changed depending on the season, and during winter there is often a blanket of evergreen branches along with Christmas roses and wreaths of varying kinds.
All Saints Day is the weekend just past, a week end when family members and friends traditionally visit the graves bringing candles to place by the individual gravestones or to the area called "The Memorial Garden". How I would love to be able to view Sweden from above on this night. The entire country must glow from all the candles lit.
When we have visitors we often "show off" a church yard and do so with great pride. A lot is said about the people who live here when you see this love for those who have proceeded us in death.
An example of a very special grave yard is Skogskyrkogården in Stockholm. It is a relatively new cemetery (considering how old many of the churches are here) created between 1917 and 1920 - it has had a profound influence in many countries in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Center today.
Many choose to not be buried in a traditional grave today, but rather in these memorial gardens that are unmarked. With the thought of eliminating the responsibility for the care of the grave to those left behind. Everyones life is full enough of all the things that must be done, must be cared for..... and true it is, that those who past before us are not in the cemetery itself, yet I am moved by the age old tradition. The caring, the planting, the candles..
Those that I miss in my life, those that are out there beyond the horizon some where, remain in my heart, forever and ever!
These beautiful spaces are created for contemplation, reflection and solace....... where never a plastic plant will be found.