We said good-bye to Tom, as we said good-bye to our grandmother and others. We’ll do it again many times in our lives. Now the two persons in the photo have both passed on. And as humans, we mourn, we grieve, we suffer from the sense of loss, as we miss the person who has passed from our sight. We know that everything must die--except the soul. And if we believe this we know that each of us contains not only a being that does die but also a being that doesn’t die.
When my grandmother stopped breathing last year, her body died. But I felt that there was something that didn’t die. At first, she seemed to play tricks on me, like hiding things on me, as a reminder that she was still there. Then I started to feel as if she lived on in me.
At the ceremony just held for my brother-in-law, I spoke of how the message in the Lion King from deceased father to son still inspires me. Mufasa appears to his struggling son Simba in a vision and tells him, “I live in you. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.”
This message says that we are never alone. Our loved ones, our ancestors, are always with us. It tells us to live responsibly, responding to the challenges of life to the best of our ability, as if we are living not only for our individual selves, but for all those who are living on in us.
So I do say good-bye, because death is an ending, a farewell. But I also say hello, for it’s a new beginning, being together in a different way.