San Juan, Remembering the Dead

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For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

1 Cor.15:53-54

On the tip of the entrance to the Bay of San Juan is the Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Next to the fort, between the walls and the sea, is a 19th century cemetery, Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery. It is beautiful, full and well tended. Grief is often described as the crashing of waves washing over us, again and again, never ceasing, but changing in intensity and strength with the seasons. It seems incredibly fitting then that this cemetery should be on the edge of the sea. Fitting too that it is on the boundaries of two worlds, between terra firmand the ceaseless motion of the deep. As I stood above the hundreds of graves and memorials I said, “May light perpetual shine upon them.”

 

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