A Monumental Muse


As a verb, to muse is to consider something thoughtfully. As a noun, it means a person — especially a woman — who is a source of artistic inspiration.” (Vocabulary.com Dictionary).

Everyday I deal with the aftermath of a death, and sometimes those who are dying, but, although the circumstances surrounding my work may be sad, my workplace is often filled with happiness and laughter as amusing incidents and characteristics of the person who has passed away are recalled and retold.

It helps to talk.  Not only does it help the family but it helps me to have an insight into a life well-lived.  The insight becomes a muse and the muse helps to create a memorial as unique and exquisite as the person to whom it is dedicated.

My office is set within the grounds of a beautiful Victorian cemetery.  It is a place of constant inspiration and I find myself choosing to wander amongst the graves, reading the inscriptions.  Musing (there it is again!) about the person who has passed away or the hand that has skillfully carved the stone, creating something beautiful beyond words. I can’t help noticing how in parts nature is trying to reclaim the space, territorially wrapping its tendrils around an almost hidden stone.  It is a fascinating, peaceful place.  A place where you can rest for a while – or perhaps a little longer!

The cemetery has within its walls some beautiful memorials. Angels peacefully watch over those in their care.  Herbs grow within kerbs where they have been specially planted.  Walls reveal almost secret gates to the world outside, intricately shaped in wrought iron.  Butterflies abound, attracted to plants and shrubs grown specifically to become their habitat.  Standing in the middle of this is a Chapel, lovingly restored to its former glory.  It’s a place you can celebrate the life of a loved one or choose to get married. 

The memorials I find myself visiting most often, however, are those which I have helped to create.  For these are the ones to which I feel the most connection as I stand and muse for a little while about how to live in the hearts of the people we leave behind is not to die.

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