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Before the Long Climb

I went to a funeral mass yesterday. The family of the man who died had become very dear to me, as some of the family members were so close to my sister who was murdered 29 years ago. There were many people there at the dinner following the funeral service who knew my sister, and of course as we talked about lives, where we had been, where we were hoping to go, or not to go, one thing became clear: Everyone’s life had been strongly impacted by the death of my sister. Friends of hers had gone through bouts of depression and all of the things that go with that, in varying degrees. For years I had just felt and looked at my own hurt. I am intrinsically a selfish person. This is not deliberate; I have just resisted the concern and love for others that comes with maturity.
This sad but welcome epiphany has brought me to the edge of that plateau where ideas camp out before a long climb. I am aware now of the pain that one person can cause so many people. The murderer is a person who fractures both the earth and atmosphere, the roads we walk on, and the air we now carefully breathe.
Yesterday, I saw in the eyes of the sons who had lost their father that incredible sense of loss that we feel when that mighty figure who has loomed over the nest like a protective canopy, is removed. No doubt, even though we reach an age when we can financially provide for ourselves, that gruff and gnarled figure who provides the damnedest resistance to our notions and ideas is a necessary part of what makes us strong and confident. I saw in the eyes of his daughter a different sort of pain. Something in my selfish and male nature does not allow me to understand it, but the intensity of the loss both draws me and makes me stand at a slight distance.
Weddings, funerals, baptisms – this is what we have. We live now in a three dimensional earth with colors and sounds that the human eye can see. The Creator could have given us a Six-dimensional universe and a broader range of colors in our vision. He could have given us a smaller range, as some animals have. We have what we have, and we see what we see, and eventually, we see what we have had.

Copyright March 13th, 2011 by Earnest Publications


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