During the season of Lent, I will be sharing a short post each day as part of the Lent-Photo-a-Day Journey, providing a sort of brief reflection and witness through the journey to and through the cross, to the tomb, and out into the world.
The word designated for February 26th is “death.”
In thinking about death, my first idea was to write some about the experience of saying good bye to my Grandpas. But I have actually written about them quite a bit on the blog. So, I have decided to share a different photo and story today, about my Uncle Danny.
Uncle Danny passed away before I was born, so I never really got to know him. I have a few things of his though, including a stuffed animal that was one of my favorite toys as an infant, a fox. Danny spent a good deal of his life in doctor’s offices and the hospital with some different conditions, but from all the stories I have heard he lived a full and loving life.
When I think about death, the image of a butterfly comes to mind. My favorite worship service of the year is the Easter Sunrise service. I realize I might be crazy, but the idea of basking in the opening rays of the sun’s light, and imagining journeying to the garden and the tomb to just find the stone rolled away. I can’t help but think that there might have been a pretty butterfly or two flying around as a sign of life, hope and peace. The butterfly as you can see also appears on Danny’s grave. In connecting with that symbol, if you can make out Danny’s birth date, I was baptized on that day the year I was born (and it happened to also be Easter morning). There is significance to me in that, in remembering that death is not final- that the grave does not have the last say.
Being in Minnesota during the winter now provides an experience I never quite had growing up- things die here. The ground, if not covered in white of snow and ice is brown and blah. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest everything was usually green all year around, except for the grass which occasionally might turn brown during an ultra dry and warm August and September. It’s interesting then to think about winter and Lent here, because there is a greater connection in the timing it would seem between the bleakness of winter and Lent, and the growth, hope and new life of the spring and Easter.
What symbols come to mind as you think about death? What images stand out to you?