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Love survives death

We gathered together to re-member and move toward wholeness. One day we met in the church to remember one of us who left this world not so long ago. We felt the loss and yet we sensed their presence in a strange and wonderful way—they live on in spirit in us and among us. Another day we met outdoors and under a glorious canopy of blue sky and white clouds connected in a moment of shared vulnerability. We created a sanctuary, a refuge from the sorrow and suffering of being human—a beloved community. I led us in a simple greeting—"I see you”—with a response—"I am here”—that we shared with each other one by one. Seeing the other and offering our presence affirmed our existence, eliciting a warm and loving glow in our faces and opening our hearts with compassion.

"You have to trust that every friendship has no end, that a communion of saints exists among all those, living and dead, who have truly loved God and one another. You know from experience how real this is. Those you have loved deeply and who have died live on in you, not just as memories but as real presence." (Henri Nouwen)

"We are so much more able to embrace the loss of intimate loved ones and friends when we know that we have given our all--when we have shared with them that mutual recognition and belonging in love which death can never change or take away." (bell hooks)

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