The graveyard reminded me of a miniature town, complete with little buildings and quaint streets. I was standing at the entrance to La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires which is where the remains of Eva Peron are entombed.
As I wandered along paved walkways, I stopped frequently to peer through iron grilles, Perspex windows and slatted doorways. Several tombs had coffins stacked inside – not as we know them today – but more bulky with rounded ribs of wood. One contained two large ones and a tiny baby size one.
As one does in such a place, I wondered about all those who have gone before us, what their lives were like one or two centuries ago, what they would think if they could walk out onto the streets of Buenos Aires in 2016. That thought led me to a section of scripture that described what happened at the moment of Jesus’ death.
Matthew 27:51-53 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
That’s the only information we are given so we don’t know how long the holy people were in the city and what happened next. Have you ever wondered how that day unfolded? What family members would have said when long-deceased loved ones appeared to them? Would they have been able to touch them … invite them to their homes … how would they have been dressed … could old hurts have been laid to rest ...
La Recoleta was a fascinating walk down the lanes of history but it settled one thing in my mind. When I die, I’m confident that I’ll pass from this world straight into the arms of my Heavenly Father, but please don’t entomb my remains in a dark cold hole. Take me for one last plane ride and when you find a frothy confluence of turquoise rivers, a spot where the ocean surges against mountains, and a scattering of wild flowers, then let my ashes go to swirl and dance before settling into the arms of this land that I’ve grown to love so dearly.