Better Than Sunshine

Nothing beats that New England summer weekend. I say this because I've just experienced one of those shoes-off, sun-covered span of days that made up for some extreme Vitamin D deprivation. Perhaps best about these weekends is the opportunity to reflect on life - what we think it should be, what it has been, and what it is.

This became especially poignant at the funeral of a dear family friend on Saturday. As we crowded into the historic Congregational church on the Madison green, I was touched by how the life and passing of one man effected so many. I watched stoic business men crumble in remembrance. I watched daughters mourn the loss of their "Daddy". I watched as the life of one tired widow changed so drastically from one day to the next. It was humbling. And, as the day developed into one almost perplexingly pleasant, I wondered at how a wife moves on from something so distressingly mortal.

I wondered if, perhaps, a person doesn't ever really move on.

A number of years ago, I watched the movie "Fight Club". While, in many senses of the word, this movie is what you might call "trippy", it did have one quote good enough to stick with me through the years. An actor compares something in his life to "the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can't."

The scratch may change, but I, like you, probably, have a hard time letting some scratches heal. The scratches are ugly, unkind, and horribly painful. We know that once we stop picking at them, they'll heal on their own. Maybe not in a day, a month, or even a year - but they'll heal.

I don't know what it's like to lose someone I love so much that they are a part of me. I would imagine that it's more like losing an arm, a leg, even half of you. Maybe it's not something that heals on its own.

I find comfort in knowing the existence of blissful eternity, and knowing that it is mine through the sacrifice of an Almighty God. This I do know. I know also, that, as one person said, the number of people in the church on Saturday was a testament to a life well lived.

I think life should be incredible - it should be filled with countless sun-laden days, at least a few loving friends, and a supportive family. There should be bike rides by the beach, hours spent at book sales, meals at delicious restaurants and weekends in Newport. There should be Christmases with everyone you love, birthdays with your favorite kind of cake, Thanksgivings in Virginia and jobs in New York City. There should be hugs, snuggles, and babies to hold. There should be joy in every moment, because inevitably, it goes by far too quickly.

I think life has been blessed - I've had all I've ever needed and more. In the last year, I've married my high school sweetheart, lived in 5 different homes in 3 different states, watched a sister get married, completed an internship at CBS, traveled to a foreign country, and found a career path that I love.

I think life is wonderfully and terrifyingly unknown - it changes in the blink of an eye. In light of this, I think all we can do is hold on to the people now who will either stand in the church to celebrate mortal life or stand on the other side to celebrate the eternal. This, and trust in God's promise to provide. I suppose that's better than sunshine.

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