November first was All Souls’ Day, the day to commemorate the memory of our departed loved ones. So many precious ones gone as life seems to race by. My mother and father, oldest brother and sister, dear aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, beloved teachers, dear, dear friends, pets; each loss leaving a tear in my heart that never ever quite heals completely. It is life, and the cycle of love and loss continues on and on, ad finitum. One day, I, too, will join the Souls in their march through eternity. Hopefully along the way, those losses teach me compassion, gratitude, empathy, and a reminder to live in the moment – the only place where life truly happens.
I came into my office today to find that my secretary had left this single envelope on my desk; the Paralyzed Veterans of America, one of my mother’s favorite causes, promoting giving during her favorite holiday season. I’d never had this come to my office address before, and it seemed so out of place sitting on my desk at school. It’s funny how grief works; Mom has been gone for over three years, but seeing that envelope and its reminders of Mom and her love of all things Christmas instantly made my eyes prick with tears. At least after these few years, the tears were those of remembrance instead of raw grief. I gave a small smile in gratitude for this little hello from Heaven.
Maybe especially today, I feel my mother and all of those souls surrounding me, a celebration reminding me that there is something out there much larger than I am, that I am never alone, but surrounded by the love of the ages. I really like the idea of being part of a continuum, that I am a tiny piece of the fabric of the universe and of life. Such a gift of perspective. All of the trivial worries…they really don’t mean much when we think about life in that way. A pretty healthy and much-needed shift in perspective on this beautiful fall day.