The remains of Joel Berry rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia. His tombstone bears the carving of an anchor – a symbol of hope.
Beneath this Stone Reposes
All that is Mortal of
Joel Welcome Berry,
Born in Newnan, Geo. May 22, 1840;
Died in New York City Jan 12, 1869.
A Son of Andrew J. & Eliza Emily Berry.
There is no "Death!"
What seems so is transition;
This life of "mortal" breath,
Is but a suburb of the life Elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.
Those last five lines are from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, titled "Resignation." The entire rhyme is 52 lines, but definitely worth a read if you are so inclined (just after the ad).
THERE is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair!
The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,
Will not be comforted!
Let us be patient! These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise,
But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.
We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps
What seems to us but sad, funeral tapers
May be heaven's distant lamps.
There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.
She is not dead, – the child of our affection, –
But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our poor protection,
And Christ himself doth rule.
In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,
By guardian angels led,
Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,
She lives, whom we call dead,
Day after day we think what she is doing
In those bright realms of air;
Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,
Behold her grown more fair.
Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives,
Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,
May reach her where she lives.
Not as a child shall we again behold her;
For when with raptures wild
In our embraces we again enfold her,
She will not be a child;
But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,
Clothed with celestial grace;
And beautiful with all the soul's expansion
Shall we behold her face.
And though at times impetuous with emotion
And anguish long suppressed,
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,
That cannot be at rest, –
We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
We may not wholly stay;
By silence sanctifying, not concealing,
The grief that must have way.
Are you wondering what's up with all the "letter" posts? I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (links to official page). This challenge lasts through the month of April, with Sundays off. Each day follows a different letter prompt, in order, from A to Z. Click here to see all my letter posts on one page (in reverse order). This blog as a whole is one of my themes – telling the tales of tombstones, primarily from those found in the Southern United States and usually the State of Georgia. You may follow along with me by email and other social media platforms listed at the top of the sidebar. I and other bloggers in the challenge on Twitter will also be using #atozchallenge.
Though this is my second year in the challenge, it's my first with two blogs. I am also participating with Lincecum Lineage. Though it is a one name study blog, my theme there is "kinfolk direct." These genealogy and family history posts all involve a direct relative.
Are you participating in the challenge, too? Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, I'd love to pay you a visit. Good luck to all involved!