Etymology: Middle English, from Old English græf; akin to Old High German grab grave, Old English grafan to dig
Date: before 12th century
1: an excavation for burial of a body ; broadly : a burial place
My job requires me to spend a lot of time in funeral homes and cemeteries. The smell of a freshly dug grave has become familiar, and each time I see or smell a freshly dug grave I cannot help but remember the words from the Book of Common Prayer – “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” As I watch family and friends weep beside open graves I sometimes have fleeting images of my family and I weeping next to the graves of my parents.
I am reminded that all I know now is temporary. One day I will be earth, ash, dust, and I don’t know how long it will be before I am reduced to those elements, so I need to be awake for as much of this life as I can.