Remembering All Souls
I was not brought up in any religious tradition, and don’t “belong” to any religion, but I am most familiar, culturally, with Christianity. I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell or an omnipotent God. But I have come to believe there is sacredness in the moments of connection between people and in the rare moments of peace we experience in stillness and in nature.
What happens when we die? Where do our souls go? Why are we here? Without religious tradition and faith, these questions can be troubling, leading to existential angst. These questions can also drive an urgency to live this life with meaning. Because, what if, there is nothing after this life? Better make this one count.
I believe that we are here for those sacred moments of connection and peace. I don’t know what happens when we die, but I know where our souls go. They are part of us who live on.
The daughter of my cousin Elizabeth – Elizabeth, my surrogate sister, the one who was killed by a drunk driver, leaving behind a 10 year old girl – is now grown and got married this weekend. It was a beautiful and joyous and emotional event. With great care, she and her groom planned a ceremony and a party that reflected their open and loving personalities and they included all the people they loved, both alive and dead. The dead ones were there. I felt them.
Elizabeth, Frank, Mary, Melvin, Fran, Earl, Sadie. Those are the ones from my life that I felt. Present. At the wedding. Imagine if every person brought all their dead loved ones with them. (They did.) It was a big party!
There we all were, living and dead, celebrating the sacred connection of love.
Elizabeth, who I still miss deeply and so acutely at our rare family gatherings, lives on in her daughter and all of us connected to her. I know she is so full of love and pride for her daughter. I can feel it.
If there is no heaven nor hell after life, then surely it is here in this life. And if there is no afterlife, then it is urgent and imperative that we maximize heaven and minimize hell in this life. Love deeply. Those moments of sacred connection are heaven and those moments of sacred connection are the only way to minimize hell. Know that our loved ones’ souls live on in us.
Dear souls, may we find peace.
Comforting, soulful meditation, Sally. Thanks and peace, John
Glad you found it comforting. Me too – all those souls accompanying us along the way, like one big party!
Beautiful piece, my friend. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Thank you Rose!
[…] feel inhabited by my mother. Her body may have stopped breathing but she lives inside me. I really feel her with me, supporting me with love as I breathe in and breathe […]
[…] amazing cousin, dear Elizabeth. The one who was killed at the age of 48 by a drunk driver in 2002. The one I still miss. The only female of my generation in my small family. Older than me, she knew my mother’s family […]