One week and three days. That’s how long it’s been since Holly left this earth. Thirty years she lived on this side of eternal life.
“We are not alone / We are more than flesh and bone / What is seen will pass away / What is not is going home…” –Andrew Peterson
[Donate in Holly’s memory to the The Ziway + Adami Tulu Project]
And now, she’s home.
She’s dancing in the pure Light, healed.
She’s outside of time. We’re in it. She’s free, and we’re trapped, feeling deeply the ebb and flow of new grief, constantly aware of life’s frailty.
The thing about death, you know, is that the living keep on living.
“The living can’t quit living,” Wendell Berry writes. “They can’t because they don’t. The light that shines into darkness and never goes out calls them on into life. It calls them back again into the great room. It calls them into their bodies and into the world, into whatever the world will require. It calls them into work and pleasure, goodness and beauty, and the company of other loved ones.”
And so we can’t quit. We don’t. We keep on, changed. Our perspectives shift, our priorities shift, our vision is altered. But we don’t quit.
We mourn, but not without hope. We grieve, but not without hope.
Hope points me to the “holy shores of uncreated light“, and the One who lights the way.
“‘Praise, Praise!’ I croak. Praise God for all that’s holy, cold, and dark. Praise him for all we lose, for all the river of the years bears off. Praise him for stillness in the wake of pain. Praise him for emptiness. And as you race to spill into the sea, praise him yourself, old Wear. Praise him for dying and the peace of death.
…Now that I can hardly walk, I crawl to meet him there. He takes me in his chilly lap to wash me of my sins. Or I kneel down beside him till within his depths I see a star.
Sometimes this star is still. Sometimes she dances. She is [Holly]’s star. Within that little pool of Wear she winks at me. I wink at her. The secret that we share I cannot tell in full. But this much I will tell. What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.” -Frederick Buechner