As we look at the beautiful trees around here on campus - red, yellow, orange, and gold - and see the leaves begin to fall - we think of the words describing trees in autumn from the poet Robert Frost:
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
As we remember our loved ones this month, we speak those same words: “Nothing gold can stay.” Our loved ones mean the world to us, yet we always knew all along that at some point they would have to leave us - that they could not stay forever - that they would have to pass from this world.
As I shared with those present at our Mass of Remembrance this past Wednesday, Harold Bloomfield, Peter McWilliams and Melba Colgrove have some advice for us in a book about surviving during loss. They say that it is important to grieve for our loved ones.
“Don't postpone, deny, cover or run from your pain. Be with it now.” “Everything else can wait.” “Set aside time to mourn” they say to us. We are so used to putting things behind us quickly and moving on with our lives. But sometimes we force that to happen and we never completely heal.It is best to be open with God about our grief as we think about our loved ones and lift them up to God.
“Be gentle with yourself.” “Accept that you have an emotional wound, that it is debilitating, and that it will take awhile before you are completely well,” they advise us.
It may be a little more difficult for you to carry out certain tasks. That's okay.
“Surround yourself with goodness and light.” “Breathe deeply of goodness and light. Let it fill every cell of your body.”
God can help us heal. We want to breathe in the light and goodness of Jesus Christ and his Resurrection. We choose to light candles for our loved one and allow the warmth of that light to come into our hearts.
Please take a moment to pray for our deceased parishioners whose photos are in the alcove of our Gathering Space this month. It is a powerful way that we continue to think about them, hold them in our hearts, and still express our love for them.