Death Becomes You

Photo I took from one of the oldest cemeterys in America in NYC's St. Paul's Churchyard.

Photo I took from one of the oldest cemeterys in America in NYC’s St. Paul’s Churchyard.

Today I went to a cemetery to photograph some stones for family members that did not live in Washington State. It is a volunteer program I became involved with to assist those that can not take the photography themselves. On this particular day, I was having trouble finding a plot. There was a woman alone near me and as we began to talk, she started helping me search for the grave site.
After a few minutes I found who I was looking for and took the pictures I needed to take. After I was done, I began to talk with this woman. I realized a sadness in her face as I asked her if she was there visiting with someone. She said, “Yes, my husband. He committed suicide.” I said, “I am so sorry to hear this. When did he do that?” She replied, “In 2010.” It was at this point we began sharing back and forward about life and death situations. It was as if she was saying death was the best choice he saw for himself.
It was interesting having this chance meeting with her. I do not even know her name, but she did take me to her husband’s burial site. I paid my respects with her. This nicely dressed lady was from Korea and shared with me that he was depressed before he killed himself and had lost much of his business. He was a highly respected businessman and it sounded from her he had lost everything. She had begun to go to work at a department store to bring in some money.
As I took my time with her, we spoke of Korean traditions and how the husband’s role is so important in that culture. She spoke of going to work and what this might have felt like for her husband. You could see the sadness in her eyes as she discussed this with me and the clash of current culture with the culture and traditions of her home country. She shared that her home may be lost soon to foreclosure and she wondered about moving back to Korea. She now has grandchildren here that make her so happy. I offered her the only advice I knew when she told me she is now an American citizen, “Stay in America and be with your grandchildren no matter if you lose your house. They sound so lovely for you.” We smiled and said our goodbyes. I offered to take a photo of her husband’s grave site and email it to her. She was so happy for me to do that. I hope in some way it helps her.

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Death Becomes You

    1. alesiablogs Post author

      I think my skills in nursing pay off for such situations. Right before I met her I was chasing my dog who had taken off lease and all. It was quite a comical event up to that point. You should have seen me trying to catch him.

      Like

      Reply
  1. Mrs. P

    I am glad that you told her to stay. Seeing her grandchildren grow up will give her some joy to look forward to…to leave would only make this tragedy greater. It certainly was one of those kindness of strangers moment. Good on you!

    Like

    Reply
  2. pishnguyen

    This was a sad, yet beautiful, post. I’m glad you were there for that lady. I am certain that God put you there to talk with her, to be with her, and to help her not feel so alone. I hope everything works out for her and her family. God bless you!

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s