Today I went to the wake of a 42 year old Japanese man who leaves behind a gorgeous family: a lovely wife who has made strong connections in our neighborhood, and two daughters, 4 and 8. Having experienced this kind of thing before in the loss of my uncle, I don’t have to tell you how sobering it was when this man’s little 8 year old wove her way through the line of people waiting to pay their respects, and looked for or gave hugs.
She both sought and gave comfort, this beautiful child.
It nearly broke my heart in two--I held her as if she were MY child, and prayed to God anything I might say or do could be a source of comfort to them.
Life is odd, in its contrasts--today is Mardi Gras, a kind of odd celebration of life and in some ways a precursor to understanding different kinds of death. Lent reminds us of this--Ash Wednesday with its mark on us shows us that our paths all ultimately end, and how we choose to work that path, how we see the other side, massively affects us to our very souls.
I am shaking thinking about this, about this man, who was younger than my husband, who lived well and cared for his family, having met his maker--and knowing that someday my children will grieve for me. It makes me want to live--to seek the beauty and love and perfect grace we offer each other each day, if we can look past the messy, chaotic snarl that everyday living can be.
So I seek and choose love, in all its forms--join me and go ahead and love on someone today.