This month our Middle School group is exploring the subject of Death as part of the Lodestone curriculum we’ve been using this year.
I have found, in my time as a religious educator, that this topic is terribly under-discussed in our society and in our families, even though we will certainly all have to encounter some aspect of death at some point in our lives.
When the subject is taboo, an important aspect of a religious community is to be a container for conversations and a testing ground for ideas about that subject. Here, we are a place for asking difficult questions and arriving at our own answers to them.
The group visited our columbarium as part of their program last Sunday. The columbarium is fairly new, so we only have the cremated remains of eight individuals co-mingled here. The design allows for the slow release of the remains below, as the material self rejoins the soil. When our columbarium and memorial garden were first designed, they were placed right next to our Nursery, so there is a good view of the columbarium right out of the nursery window.
How perfect is that? Our youngest, newest lives and our remembrance of lives past forming bookends, reminders of the cycle of life.
We will continue to have space and time for talking about death in Middle School sessions for the rest of this month and into early April. This is also a great topic to discuss at home as a family:
What have you heard about what happens after you die?
What have you heard about what Unitarian Universalists believe about what happens after death?
What gives you comfort when you think about what happens after death?