The Other Side Of The Other Side
May 19, 2006
The Anchoress is facing the loss of a close relative, from this world to the next. Her most recent remarks can be found here. Earlier observations and reminiscences of a beloved brother can be read here.
There are really no words that can assuage the feelings of fear, despair and the dread of an impending loss- and that is a good thing. The cycle of life and death are meant to make us more whole and to strengthen us. They are tests and challenges we must endure and from which, we may come out bruised and battered. We also come out stronger. Through it all, many of us ask God to guide us, or to hold us in the palm of His hand, as we endure the hard journey that we will all take.
Our relationship with God, or even our inner selves, if one is not a believer, will very much define how we will endure the trials of life and how we will emerge.
When we know God in simplistic and general terms, we referred to as a servants of God. As a servant of course, we are meant to obey God's word. A servant has limited interaction with his master. Certainly, a servant does not have the right to question his master nor search through his master's records.
If one however, is a a child of God, the paradigm changes dramatically. A child of God has a very different relationship with his Father. A child of God's is on intimate terms with God, and is free the why's of life. The child of God is welcome to know and search the records of his Father, so that he too, may better understand and live a just life.
In fact, we must each be a slave and child of God's. At some moments were are one or the other. At other times, we are both.
The power of a moment in time can never be underestimated, because the events and experiences that help shape our lives are comprised of brief moments. Some of those moments are profound and other moments are romantic and magical. What they have in common is that they are all fleeting moments in time.
It is also true that some sad and tragic events and losses we experience are anything but fleeting. When we recall those times, they seem to last much longer. There are events and tragedies that mark and scar our very souls, for a lifetime. Nevertheless, the events themselves lasted but moments. The collection of those moments become a part of you. They may not always be front and center, but they are a part of who you are.
As we watch a loved one march that 'last mile' of life as we know it, it is easy to forget and be blinded to the new chapter that soul's journey. We see an empty vessel that housed a soul, the essence of the person we loved and cared for- and then the soul is gone. That soul is longer a part of our reality, or so it seems. When we can longer interact with that soul, when we can no longer demand that particular soul respond to us immediately, we see the soul as lost to us forever. It all happens in two short moments. The soul we know and love is here, and a moment later, it is gone.
Human beings, ever flailing in loss, ask themselves: Does a soul live in our memories? Can we keep a part of the soul here, with us? Does the soul still respond to our needs when called upon, albeit in ways that are different? Do the words shared in a lifetime, speak to us inmeaningful ways, again? Can those words heal us and inspire us?
Memories are funny things. They are at once simple in the comfort they provide and stengthening in their awareness and insight.
Anyone who has held and comforted a child, remembers a parent or loved one that did the same. Anyone that has made a child laugh by being silly, can remember a parent or loved one- and still smiles or laughs at the thought of that. Sharing an ice cream, a walk, or a dance with a loved, conjure up memories, and emotions that come to the surface. Moments in time become real and meaningful. Moments in time become opportunities to tie the present with the past. Moments in time can bind generations of families. Moments in time in time fuse us with friends that we have chosen and teachers that have taught us well and true.
This is the power of the soul, if we choose to call out to it. The power of the soul yearns to be be connected with life, in the same way a parent yearns to remain connected to a child- and in the same way God asks to be connected with our lives.
The nature relationship between parent and child changes over time of course, and the exchanges between parent and child change. The love too, becomes more profound. Children come to know and understand their parents when they have children of their own. New grandparents recall their grandparents, and the cycle of life goes on. There is always a connection. In fact, we cannot escape the souls of those we love and of those who have loved us, if we only care enough to continue to love them and everyone else we love- moment by moment.
There are times we are children and servants, and there are times we parents and servants.
That is a very good thing. That is life.