2008 was a year of far too many deaths for me. When we get to the part of the Eucharistic Prayer during Mass when we pray for those who have died, I have to recite them all really fast, just to get through those who have died this year. The most recent – following not too many weeks after the death of my cousin Bobby – was that of my friend Heather, who died the Monday before Christmas. Although she had been sick for some time, the death came as a sudden shock.
I’ve mentioned before a book my friend Tim sent me as a gift, titled To Bless the Space Between Us. The book contains a number of beautiful blessings. As I was reading through it this weekend, looking for a suitable blessing to use in the closing prayer service of a vocation retreat I was facilitating over the weekend for law students, I was deeply consoled by a line in the blessing for lost friends. It reads:
When we love another heart
And allow it to love us,
We journey deep below time
Into that eternal weave
Where nothing unravels.
Nothing unravels. Dead but not gone. Out of sight, but still with me. Still part of the eternal weave.
I still grieve the losses…I miss the converstations, the meals together, the laughs, the silliness. Lucinda playing food games. Bobby teasing the kids. Heather snarking about her old law school. And so on.
But I am consoled. And I give thanks…for the gifts they were…and the gifts they continue to be, as part of the eternal weave.