By Linda Moore
Published: November 2006
Always so much beyond our understanding. Such a death raises the same questions for us all: Why? Why him? Why one so young? As I sat in the overflow room at the funeral home and looked around I wondered about the impact, particularly on all his young friends. For some there is solace in their belief in God, in heaven, and in the specifics of their religiosity. For others there is only the unknown shifting and silently invading heart and mind. St. Thomas a canonized saint of the Roman Catholic Church, said we need "to know God as unknown; as unknowable because we cannot know". Our limited understanding as human beings precludes us from really knowing the Mysteries. We can create our own interpretations and yet there will always be so much more beyond our understanding. So where does that leave us in relationship to Kevin? In relationship to eternity? And to our own peace of mind and purpose? What do you do when there is no answer to the why?
In the days that followed I did get some answers to my queries and in a way more profound than I could have imagined.
After his death, friends and family of Kevin gathered in both formal and informal settings. Stories were told of his life, of their lives, of other losses, of other experiences. Deep community bonds were strengthened and in some cases new ones were formed. Individuals who had been walking through life half asleep were abruptly awakened to the reality of the tenuous nature of life. Parents gave their children more hugs and said, "I love you!" much more. The big questions were asked by many; "Who am I?", "Where am I going", "What contribution am I making in the world?"
Individuals connected with one another in their grief and stopped to pay attention to the world around them. The touch of an autumn breeze on the skin, the beauty of a fall flower, the laughter of a tiny child, all held a precious gift for those who were woken up by the death of another.
There is a reason the 'present' is a present, a gift. When we remove 'clock time' and live in the moment, the depth and breadth of the gift to us is extraordinary and miraculous. In this present moment there is immense possibility to love, to share, to laugh and to cry with another. We can watch sunrises and sunsets and storms and clouds. We can hold our children and hug the newest baby in our world and know all is possible. We can gaze into the eyes of our most special love and know we can see each other's soul. We know in the present we simply are.
So perhaps Kevin did live exactly the life he was meant to live. If you believe in angels perhaps he was one. Perhaps he chose to come with his gift of the "present". Perhaps he came to remind us of love and family and friendship. The mysteries of life remain. God is still unknown. And yet I do know my life has been transformed because I have been given the gift of the 'present'. Thank you, Kevin!
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