Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
I’ve been thinking about this verse from Psalm today as I remember a friend from high school who, I discovered from Facebook, passed away this morning from a lengthy battle with cancer. Time can be both a blessing and a curse to us mortals. It seems to stretch on endlessly at times and then is gone before we know it. The wise person accepts each new day as a gift to be opened with joy and thanksgiving, not wishing for less or more. God gives us space and time on this Earth to learn to love him, and we do that through loving others. As Christians, we should be remembered for our love.
I’ve also been thinking about the current trend in our society to “dress up” our grief. Instead of mourning at a funeral service, we hold celebrations of life. Our loved ones do not die, they pass on or go home. Instead of focusing on how much we will miss them, we are encouraged to be grateful for the time we had them with us. And while I believe that there is space for all of this, I also think we need to learn and to teach our children how to say goodbye. And saying goodbye hurts. We need to remember that for each person we have loved and let go of, regardless of how young or old they were, there is a light that has gone out on this Earth.
And so, today, I am remembering Tricia. She will be always for me that laughing bright-eyed 16 year old girl with dark curls, deep brown eyes and a vivacious personality. I know there is much more that her family and close friends will remember, and I pray that as her young son grows older there will be warm memories for him to hold onto and carry. But for me, I will remember a teenage girl’s joy and exuberance while living life to the fullest. I like this traditional Irish blessing for saying goodbye.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Blessings and Peace,