Presence and Absence

My oh my, I am shocked how far away a loved one goes when they die.  I personally find it so hard to get used to the total and complete absence of their physical presence – there is just not a trace of them to be found. I keep expecting them to come thru a doorway, to call, to bump into them at a get together of the usual personalities, to see them at a table sitting. 

Yet, they keep showing up, unannounced, into my thoughts.  It is maddening how I cannot predict the next time a rumination will come into my head that is related to them. Places. Food. Stories. People. They hit me with the speed and sting of a jab by Mohammed Ali. Before I can see it, it has struck and I am lucky if it only stings; many times it feels like a freight train with 117 cars rumbling thru me.  Please Lord, just let me know it is coming, will you? I don’t like it when these remembrances come unannounced and uninvited in the middle of my drive home, a call, or a meeting at work.

Of some solace after a long search was the following prayer, which has helped me greatly:

Prayer for the Dead

God of life,
Those whom we love die,
but our relationship to them continues.
Lead me to be thankful for all that they have shown me
about loving deeply, living wisely, and knowing You.
Help me to notice those
moments of my life
when I act, think, or believe
because of something
that they have brought
to birth in me.
Remind me to pray for them
and to ask for their assistance
in my need.
Even though I miss them deeply,
allow me to understand we still belong together
and will one day embrace again in your kingdom. 

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