There are so many ways in which we show our love for one another, too many to even try to list. There are so many expressions of caring and concern, things we do that carry with them clear messages of support, of tenderness, of compassion. Sometimes it is someone else stepping to do what we cannot do at the time; sometimes it is a lifting of a different kind. Sometimes it is something as simple as a phone call or a touch in passing. Among all of those things and certainly among the finest of them, are those conveyances of caring, consolation and condolence in the passing of a loved one.
In Murray, Kentucky, this past Sunday evening and Monday morning, I was so richly blessed it is hard to describe. How do you convey to others your appreciation for their hugs, their kind words, their warm smiles and soft voices? Friends from high school days and even earlier, people I barely remembered from my childhood, those who’ve loved me since before I can recall, made it part of their schedule to come by the funeral home during visitation or came to the funeral. Others sent cards, text messages or email. Still others, including some who do not even know me, helped prepare food for the family.
In all of these ways and in many others, they shared as they could in the passing of my mother, showed love in the same ways we humans have tried to show over the millennia of our existence upon this earth. They also shared the faith and hope that bring comfort that goes beyond the sharing of sorrow, a faith and hope that look to the ending of sorrow. Ultimately, for those who believe, it is the promise of resurrection that brings the closest bonds, that offers us the greatest comfort.
For all of those who have shared, and will continue to share in these expressions of love and mercy, I give thanks.