Monday, December 2, 2013

The Spirituality of Advent--Day 2, Week 1

Hope, choice, and a celebration of life.

None of these are small topics.

Today's message of hope will involve writing about a funeral, and some of the thoughts that it inspires.  I am sure that I will focus on this for some (or even much) of the rest of the week.

The funeral I will attend today will be for a gentleman from the parish of which I have been a member for the past 17 years.  He passed away at age 48.  He had four kids.  I don't believe the oldest is out of college, and I think that youngest is a middle schooler.  Married 23 years.  While this is not the person who has passed away to whom I have been closest (that was Gerry Paradiso back in 2010, whose passing started my personal blogging), this is the person to whom I am closest in age.  And he lived in a nearby neighborhood.  And he went to the same church.  And he did everything a person is supposed to do.  And yet, at an age just a little over four years older than me, he is no longer with his family.  I have to admit, that while I have achieved much in life and I trust that things could carry on without me and I am satisfied with my accomplishment, the loss is scary.

It is offset by hope--for resurrection.

The choice--this morning, with Sherry away on her "fall break" for the second of five nights, I chose to take the dog for an extra long walk rather than run.  This was my celebration of life.


Well, most mornings, I consider my running to be a clear celebration of life.  My life.  Although there are at least some mornings (like Thursday, Friday, and Saturday over Thanksgiving weekend), when I have the opportunity to run with others and celebrate life in an even bigger way.  All of this through gifts from God.  But most mornings, especially during the week, it is about celebrating only my life.  And with Sherry having been away for two nights, leaving me to sleep alone (not even the cat or the dog come to sleep with me through the night at this point) and manage the kids alone, I didn't want to focus just on my own life this morning.

So, I chose to walk the dog.

Walking the dog is always a celebration of life.  Two beings enjoying each other's company for a period of time.  Maybe conversation or maybe not.  Even if there is conversation, it is one way--although the dog can react.  Maybe silence and just enjoying the outside.  But celebrating the chance to do what people and dogs are supposed to do--be social and be together.

I will be playing my bass at the funeral today.  Even though there will be hundreds of people at the funeral mass, and I will know many of them through the years at the parish, I really only knew the family tangentially.  So, while I will be surrounded by many people, I fear that I will be mostly alone in an important way during this celebration of the life of an exceptional parishioner and process of hoping for the joy and peace and serenity of the resurrection.

That is why I chose to celebrate life by walking with my dog rather than running alone.  This helps me to remember that I am constantly on a walk with God.  And that is the source of much hope.  

No comments:

Post a Comment