My sister had gone with me that day. It is a custom of mine to try and visit the graves of family members every time I travel to the area of my hometown.
On this particular trip, we really made the rounds, visiting three cemeteries so that I could place flowers for remembrance of all my family members/ancestors who have passed away.
The last stop we made that day was the cemetery in La, Pryor, TX. As I stood over the grave of my great grandmother Mary Jane (Gates) Wilkins, my sister and I talked about the fact that Mary Jane had been born before the Civil War. We talked about the things she might have seen during her lifetime.
I then placed the flowers I had brought and when I did, my sister said that she had heard a quote once about three deaths. She said "We aren't really gone until we die the third death which is when no one remembers us anymore."
I have thought about what my sister said quite a bit since then and I realized that is exactly why I have spent so many years researching my family history. Yes it was in part to find out where I came from but more than that, it was to remember and honor my ancestors.
Here is the quote my sister referred to - “There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” ― David Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
I have many, many ancestors who have not yet died their third death :-)
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