Our community ended the last few months of 2017 with much loss. Four of our members died within the last four months: Jon Baxter, Jane Brooks, Ken Robertson and June Allison. These losses came on top of multiple serious illnesses and surgeries, the especially sad death of a member’s grandchild and the stress of a ministerial transition. That is a lot of loss over a rather short period of time for one community to hold.
This is the time for us to come together as a community; a time to hold each other in love; a time to treat each other with kindness; a time to slow down, grieve our losses and say good-bye. Losses come in many forms, not solely with the death of a loved one. People experience loss when a friend moves away or when physical abilities decrease due to aging and illness. Other losses include the loss of a hope or a dream, the loss of a relationship (as is the case with divorce), a home or a job. And yes, the loss of a minister fits in here, too. All of these losses must be grieved for and grief takes its time. There is no rushing through grief or getting it over with sooner because it’s too uncomfortable or painful; at least not without experiencing significant emotional and spiritual consequences.
And so with the beginning of a new year, let us carry our memories with us as well as our joy and our grief, too. A life lived well carries it all: joy, sorrow, laughter, tears, dancing and wailing; praising all the while.
In faith and with love,