Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Dead Never Really Leave Us

In one of the Harry Potter books (I can’t recall which one) Dumbledore tells Harry something along the lines of “the dead never really leave us.” And in one respect that is most certainly true. Yesterday, when I saw the photo of one of my daughters and immediately caught a glimpse of her mother, it was more than simply a memory. It was a reminder of the powerful way in which Veronica is still very much alive in my heart. Maia’s response to the photo of her mom was to say, “I love you mommy.” Not “I loved you...” (past tense), but “I love you...” (present tense). There is more to this life we share with each other than can be defined or contained by anything so arbitrary as whether or not we are both still breathing. 

And yet, when you turn the multi-faceted jewel we call life and view it from a slightly different angle, they do leave us. I will never again be able to hold her hand, or hear her laugh, or kiss her lips. And such things are not incidental extras. They are an important part of what it means to be alive in this world as physical beings. Body and spirit are integrally interwoven. We are connected to those we love not just with our hearts, but also with all of our senses. 

Which brings me to the challenge. I continue seeking to be open to embracing and celebrating the fullness of life and love in all of the spiritual and earthy aspects of being human. I rejoice in the remarkable gift of sharing life and love with a particular human being named Veronica. I miss the parts of that connection which her death has removed from the equation without allowing that loss to overshadow all of the powerful ways in which our connection continues to thrive even beyond the boundaries of this mortal existence. In short, I seek a balanced life where I acknowledge and celebrate and embrace the fullness of all that it means to be wholly and holy human. In the words of Carrie Newcomer, “If holy is a sphere that cannot be rendered, there is no middle place because all of it is center.”