One Wedding and Four Deaths
It has been an interesting week for me. A royal wedding and four deaths. Wrapped inside these experiences is the essences of love. Love for me is a life force I feel within.
And stories that nest together like Russian wooden dolls – matryoshka – or stacking dolls. Of course, I’m not an insider to the royal wedding stories. Those I can read and see photos from a whole host of news organizations, tweets, and websites.
But the four deaths contain stories of lives that intersect with mine. Stories that reveal how another person metaphorically enters me and becomes a part of the fabric of my life. At the moment of learning of each death, stores well up inside of me bursting forward with energy to be shared. Have you experienced something similar?
Despite the fact we’ve not seen each other for a year or more is irrelevant. Strong emotions push forward as I am fill with memories of our adventures together. Or the last time we laughed into the dark of night and shared heart stories with each other. Or how we were best friends in school.
Each person’s face comes to me. Every detail remembered. And sudden realization of loss. I will never talk with them again. Then anguish fills me. Why didn’t I call them? Why didn’t we get together? We loved being with each other. In fact, we were more together.
Love is a gift with people who share the same values, passions, and interest in life. Being loved liberates life in me to go beyond the limitations that I allow to blind me. In the presence of love, I unfold. This experience is beautifully expressed by Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry during his sermon at the Royal Wedding:
“There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even oversentimentalise it.
There’s power – power in love. . . There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when
nothing else will.”
Family, friends, and teachers healed me with their capacity to see what is hidden. To know what is contained in the seeds of possibility within in the human spirit. And now I sit with their loss and wonder if everyone can see the gaping hole in my heart.
Reflecting on what loss and love have to teach me today, I know it is to slow down and be present. To create the space for loved ones in my life. To let go of busy. To slow down.
William Stafford has some good questions for us to consider in his beautiful poem:
You Reading This, Be Ready
By William Stafford
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. The interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life—
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
What is your experience with love and loss? How has it taught you?
Keep in touch.