Blessed are those who mourn are among the beatitudes in today’s Gospel. I have been busy since returning home and I know many of you are wondering how I am. Mourning can be a full time job in these first days, weeks and months, quietly sapping your energy until the exhaustion sets in. Add to it the fatigue from the cancer and I find myself weary. I appreciate all the emails, calls, texts, and messages even though I may not respond to each one. I am grateful for the many offers to have tea, go for a walk, or whatever else comes my way. I do feel comforted by these kind gestures which is the second half of this particular beatitude. I will accept them at some point.
The hard truth is though that by the time I get home, I just want silence. One of the things most healing after Dad passed away was to be able to walk along the shores of the beautiful beaches and just be. This was a gift from the sea and from God. My decision to go on vacation was not made lightly or selfishly. I agonized over it for days before suddenly reached a calm place. I left with great peace and what I believed was Dad’s blessing. My strong sense was that he would not wait for me to return.
This photo was taken the night Dad died. I had walked along the beach and then came up to the boardwalk on Cavendish Beach. As I looked at this photograph last night, I realized that is a symbol for me of what we cannot see on the other side. Over that grass-covered hill, we can see the ocean in the distance but we cannot see what else is there. The dunes hide the treasure of the beach and red rocks below. You get a glimpse of them but the breath-taking nature of them cannot be seen from this side. You must go to the other side to really appreciate all that is there.
God has given exactly what I have needed when a particular moment becomes challenging. I am thankful for the handful of mercy that is given each day. When I find myself seeking God in all things and sure enough Grace arrives, in its own way and time. Many of the beatitudes fit for those who are grieving: blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the meek. For those who remain on this side of the veil, we are asked to trust that what is on the other side is beautiful and healing. I do. I always will.
What do you know of the Other Side?
How do you practice self-compassion?
Compassionate One, teach me to exercise compassion towards myself. In the many calls for attention, let me focus on what you are calling me to. Allow me to seek you first and foremost in all things. As I stand on this side, I look forward to exploring the other side in due time and reuniting with all the ones I have loved that have gone before me. Papa will welcome me to the shores of my new Home which brings me much peace and joy. Amen.