this week and took a good man away, at least for a little while, as we watched, waited, and prayed. Prayer has its mysteries and hospitals have their limits and we discovered each again in the past few days.
There were the tasks, of course, things to do and arrangements to be made. Family gathered and joined forces as best as was possible in the face of such things. We all have our ways, I guess, of singing in the dark. Yet there was comfort there, a sense of belonging to something larger in the face of something that make us feel small. The visits, the food, the words, the tears, all of these are ways the living whole make sense of the loss of one of its members.
Perhaps doubt is a fashionable thing these days, skepticism masquerading as intelligence. Yet it also seems so irrational not to see the glimpses of the transcendent, of the more of us, in the face of death. Whatever we think we believe when we see those who have died, it’s easy for us to posit that there is something more in all of this, something more than cells and organs and biological material reaching its final state of collapse. It’s almost instinctual to presume existence beyond what we can presently see, in fact it may be that suppressing that understanding is actually more difficult than accepting it and this is part of the soulish trauma of our times.
And perhaps I am a relic of some long forgotten age but I believe there is more and my heart reaches out to it because that more seems to be good, even better, than what currently is. If such thoughts are a delusion they at least make me happy which is more than I can say for most of our culture’s delusions. If they are true then I become, as the creation story says, a living soul, something with the potential to travel beyond what I am and perhaps even know something of the life of God.
Death visited us again and my heart is broken and my mind is filled with as of yet unanswered questions. Yet there is within a still, small, voice that tells me there is more, and because there is more there is hope.