One day while driving around doing research at the Salt Lake City Cemetery, I spotted this beautiful headstone and memorial. It immediately brought tears to my eyes, and continues to every time I visit it. Never before had I come across such a touching statue that tells so much just at first glance.
This quickly became my favorite place to drive past in the cemetery, and I added it to the list of graves to visit on my Salt Lake City Cemetery Tour. It speaks volumes about how in this life we may have to suffer through hardships and trials, but when we pass to the other side, our spirits are free from those earthly disabilities.
Matthew Stanford Robison
This emotional statue is the grave and memorial for Matthew Stanford Robison. He was born in 1988 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and due to a lack of oxygen and complications at birth, he had to endure severe disabilities during his short life. He was blind, mostly paralyzed and spoke only a few words, but was still able to touch many lives during his short time on Earth. Only expected to live a few hours, he passed away in 1999, and the church where his funeral service was held was filled to capacity. As stated on his online memorial: “Confined to the chair most of his young life, he is now free of earthly burdens.”
“Instead of sadness, the statue makes our son Matthew’s grave a place of happiness,” said Ernest Robison, Matthew’s dad and President of Ability Found. “Many others have found that true also.”
His obituary reads:
“And then it shall come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow”
Peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, February 21, 1999, our cherished son, brother and friend, Matthew Stanford Robison was received into a state of happiness, and began his rest from troubles, care, and sorrow in the arms of his Savior and friend Jesus Christ.
Matthew was a joy and inspiration to all who were privileged to know him. He was a testament to the supreme divinity of the soul and an embodiment of the completeness our spirits yearn for. The godliness of his soul inspired, influenced and blessed all who knew him. He came into this world as a miracle and left this world as a miracle.
Born with severe earthly disabilities on September 23, 1988 in Salt Lake City to Johanna (Anneke) Dame Robison and Ernest Parker Robison. At birth, Matthew’s life expectancy was anticipated to be only hours long. However, fortitude, strength, and endurance, combined with the power of God allowed Matthew to live ten and one-half years enveloped in the love of his family and friends. His family was privileged to spend time with him here upon earth, to learn from his courage and marvel at his constant joy and happiness in the face of struggle. His family will be eternally changed by his presence and temporally changed by his passing. His presence inspired all those who knew him. He opened their hearts as well as their eyes.
Where to find this headstone:
The memorial for Matthew Stanford Robison can be found at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Click on the map above to enlarge. If you go in the main entrance of the cemetery on N Street and 4th Avenue, continue up Main Street until you reach Hillside. Take it to the right (East) and follow it up to Oquirrh Avenue. You will find it to your left (West) close to the corner.
Inspired by their son, Ernest and Anneke Robison founded Ability Found in 1993. Ability Found provides the opportunity for everyone who is disabled to receive the right equipment to become productive members of society. Ability Found’s mission is to bring people, assistive equipment and expertise together to empower all individuals who are disabled. They change lives, give freedom and make miracles possible. They were recently featured on a Mountain America Pay It Forward segment on KUTV 2 News.
Other interesting things to see at the Salt Lake City Cemetery: