Throughout shadowed corners of churches crisscrossing Europe sit tiers and tires and trees of glowing candles. Icons of the voice of our longings, singing of our hope to recover what we’ve lost, to connect with beloved ones gone yet alive in our hearts.
This image from my B&W film days calls to me every November, the month that has long been dedicated to remembrance of those separated from us for a time in this earthly life. The shorter days and the long shadows here in the North envelop me, bring me back around to the memory of my gentle father, each of my vibrant grandparents, my dear aunts and uncles – even ancestors, those who I have met only through the pages of history and yet feel connected to me.
Losing a parent, I would say, is the most surreal thing one can go through. Nothing can prepare you, and it remains forever a journey through uncharted wilderness.
I wrote this poem years ago for my boyfriend at the time, who had just lost his elderly father. For all those missing a parent, this is for you…
lament the separation
yet even more give thanks
for his life, and for the gifts...
life, love, faith.
grieve with all your might,
and may Mercy bring comfort to your heart.