Those there are a few of my saints. Not saints as in perfect people, but people I knew and loved and from whom I learned, who have passed from this life. They are family members, friends, and role models.
They taught me about generosity, nature, and that actually, there are a ton of good men in the world. They taught me about hospitality, how to play racquetball, and how to be a friend. They taught me the importance of faith, family, and the joy of a shared meal. They taught me about beauty, grace, tenderness, and forgiveness. Some were lights of exuberance; some of deep humility. They were doctors and engineers and pastors and wives and custodians and fathers and Sunday school teachers…one of them taught me how to make toast into art.
Some of them I knew well; some less well but with full admiration. Without four of them, I wouldn’t be here today. I give thanks for each and every one of them and their presence in my life, past and present. And as it’s All Saints’ Day (when the dead and our relationships with them are honored), I’ll tell you, I’m still in relationship with some of them. Yep, in relationship.
Though time and space separate us, I still call on my saints. I talk with them, I implore them, I ask them for guidance and wisdom. I tell them I wish they were still here, I tell them I love and miss them, and I tell them I don't understand why they had to go. Think I’m crazy? That’s fine, but in case you’re curious, here’s a good article on one of my favorite grief theories, that of the continuing bonds between the living and the dead: whatsyourgrief.com/continuing-bonds-shifting-the-grief-paradigm/
While Halloween was about goblins and ghosts, All Saints’ Day is about the actual people you knew and loved. Both have their pluses, though the latter's purpose may carry you through more of the year. Who are your saints? Who you gonna call?
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Long ago I was an English major. Though some may say my degree has been under-utilized, my love for the written word remains, and sometimes my words turn out okay.