The Departed


He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said:”  I am with you  and will watch over you wherever you go.”  

(Genesis 28: 12-13, 15 a) 

At my brother-in-law’s funeral, my brother and I stood at the graveside talking about our departed loved ones and where they have gone. My brother said, “Whatever they have become, it is so radically different from us, there isn’t any way we can comprehend it.” I said, “Perhaps the love that always existed between us and still remains forms something like Jacob’s ladder between heaven and earth. Love is the thing we still have in common. That forms a connection and at times we can sense it.”

Young Woman Enjoying the View

I catch glimpses now and then of the bridge between our two worlds. Here and there, near and far, love and memory still connect us. Sometimes they appear to me in dreams, or in moments of awareness triggered by a sound, or a place, or a memory. Suddenly, I am there in that place where they travel just beyond the horizon of known experience. It never lasts for more than a second or two, but in those seconds rests an eternity. They are never very far away, but I get distracted sometimes and forget.

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