Tenderly, Tenderly.

What does it matter how this grief of mine evolves or what I do with it? What does it matter how I remember her or whether I remember her at all? None of these alternatives will either ease or aggravate her past anguish.

Her past anguish. How do I know that all her anguish is past? I never believed before-I thought it immensely improbable-that the faith-fulest soul could leap straight into perfection and peace the moment death has rattled in the throat. It would be wishful thinking with a vengeance to take up that belief now. H. was a splendid thing; a soul straight, bright, and tempered like a sword. But not a perfected saint. A sinful woman married to a sinful man; two of God’s patients, not yet cured. I know there are not only tears to be dried but stains to be scoured. The sword will be made even brighter. But oh God, tenderly, tenderly.

-from A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis

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Grief is forever

I’m still feeling shock, denial and disbelief. Oh Lord is it really your will that I should feel like this? I am experiencing all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness and loneliness! I never could have imagined this tornado of feelings. There is a misconception that grief is just sadness (maybe with some anger thrown in). The reality? Grief feels like so many things. Grief feelings can change from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. There are so many feelings, swirling around with so many thoughts, that it is surprisingly tough sometimes to know what we’re feeling. What keeps me going [besides Pat’s crooked finger ordering me NOT to join her by my own hand] is her presence. Yes she is still with me and it really helps! Grief doesn’t indicate a loss of faith. Someone can believe that their loved one is in a better place AND experience the pain of being without them.

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”

― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

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We are God and us!

Amazing Grace is what we desire before we find God. We shall still desire it on our deathbeds, when the mind longs for beloved wife and friend. Love, by definition, seeks to be loved. A departed spouse is Love as is God! “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” [Romans 8:18] While we are this is. If we lose this, we lose all. “Plunged in thy depth of mercy let me die / The death that every soul that lives desires.” [Cowper] Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to be a particular swelling in the infinite contours of God’s love. To be One in a union of different members is to be One because we are different, we glimpse the meaning of all things. God caused things to be other than Himself (but still in His image) that being distinct, they might learn to love Him and our beloved and achieve union instead of mere sameness.  It is not sufficient that the Word is God, it must also be one with God as God and the Son are One. It is the difference between Patricia and I that makes it possible for us to still be One. Our union with God is, a continual self-abandonment, an opening, an unveiling, a surrender, of ourselves. For in self-giving, we love, we touch a rhythm of all creation and being! God is Love! We are God and us!

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A New way of praying?

Woke this morning feeling very strange. There was something new in my being. A new sense? I was aware of knowing something momentous but not what it was. It was like feeling the end and the beginning. Feeling like something important was happening and not happening. I was feeling the “goals” of existence—what I was made for, the beginning and the end, “ideal grace” meaning a gift from God. This was not at all like I thought of God. It was something altogether unlike me. There within was something that has always been there for me. Oh, and there for me was a very real feeling of my beloved Patricia. Yet both were there before I was born and will be there for me after I leave this earth. Will the memory of my beloved Patricia remain true to her reality, to the her invoked by the pictures of her in every room? How can I be sure that the image that I have of Pat will in fact be of the real Patricia? Even the paintings though closest to the real her done at the height of our love? We prayed -still pray – together forever. This was, is a new way of praying?

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Patricia is always present!

Patricia is a presence within, a presence infinitely beyond the senses, a presence that is elusive but, nearer than my heart; yet like my heart, I feel her there within. I Hear her hailing me from beyond the grave and know she has and will be forever there within!

November 11, 1968, first date, I asked, “Will you marry me?” Too soon for her to answer. February 9. 1969, 4 days after my birthday she answered in a small almost inaudible voice, “I love you!” Me “Does that mean you will marry me?” She replied “Yes!”

In meditation we bare in each others’ soul. As Rumi says:


Lovers work, so that when body and soul

are no longer together, their loving will be free.

Wash in wisdom-water, so you will have no regrets,

about the time here.

Love is the vital core of the soul and of all you see, only love is infinite.

Your non-existence before you were born

is the sky in the east.

Your death is the western horizon, with you here between.

The way leads neither east nor west, but in.

Test your love-wings and make them strong.

Forget the Idea of religious ladders.

Love is the roof. Your senses are waterspouts.

Drink rain directly off the roof.

Waterspouts are easily damaged

and often must be replaced.

Say this poem in your chest.

Don’t worry how it sounds

going through your mouth.

A human body is a bow.

Breathing and speech are arrows.

When. the quiver and arrows are used up or lost,

there is nothing more for the bow to do.

[from “the Essential RUMI” translated by Coleman Barks]

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Life, love and the hereafter.

Modern physics tells us that the universe had a beginning (the big bang) and will have an end. “No philosophical theory which I (C.S. Lewis in Miracles) have yet come across is a radical improvement on the words of Genesis, that “in the beginning God made Heaven and Earth.”

“The Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away there is nothing specifically Christian left.” from C.S. Lewis’ “The Grand Miracle.” God in the Dock

I remain wondering “WHY?” Lewis’ answer ” For He claims all. because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore in love, He claims all. There is no bargaining with Him.” [The Weight of Glory]

““Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” [Mark 9:24]

“…When light dawns he who can see will know the light; he who is blind will stay in the dark.” Love is how I know that Patricia lives and God exists! Love applies both to the love that human beings have for each other and to the love that God has for man. Patricia is not DEAD but alive in God and us!

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Spirit to spirit

Pat, I was talking to God last night and your image (not your name) came up. You realize that we (and God) no longer use words to communicate? Prayer too often uses words and thoughts to communicate spiritually but words do not do the job. Spiritual communication involves feelings like when you feel the love in a beautiful melody or feel the meaning in a moving landscape. I’m not even sure God hears us when we speak, especially to Him. He faithfully holds true to His promise to be close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18) and to love us unfailingly (2 Peter 3:9) but this doesn’t mean talking to us in words. The Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” -Romans 8:26-27 Remember how as a deeply hurt child you went to your parent, and he/she comforted you by holding you tight? God is LOVE and He does the same – enveloping you in His LOVE! Yes, sensing your presence even though no words are spoken is communicating. Being with you within me and God is an extremely vivid, intense, and real experience “more real than physical life.” Yes, we still love and are God and us!

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The Resurrection of the body!

Christmas is all about God becoming man — Christ is both man and God. What does this mean? Most of us ordinary mortals don’t really feel like God and don’t behave like Christ did. Our life ends just like the animals around us. Only a few of us are lucky enough to feel God as One with us. Yet there is something there – some of us are sure our beloved departed lives on within us and in Heaven.

Then there is Christ’s resurrection and appearance first to Mary. The Gospels report that it did indeed happen. Okay he came back but was this an earthly body? Jesus tells Mary, “Touch Me not” (John 20:17, KJV); but then later, speaking to Thomas, He says, “Reach hither thy finger and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side” (verse 27). With Mary, Jesus adds that he has not yet been to the father. Does this mean his body is somehow unclean and toxic or is there another meaning? Or is he simply telling Mary “To cling to, to lay hold of” his teaching? That he asks Thomas to touch his wounds seem to imply the cling idea; Christ wants Mary to stand on her own and become a great teacher of his Words. Christ tells Mary of the ascension. His plan was to ascend to the Father and then send the Holy Spirit (John 16:720:22Acts 2:1-4). Fellowship with Jesus would continue, but it would be a spiritual communion, not a physical presence.

All this tells Christians that after death we are indeed recognizable, can be seen and touched by our loved ones, can carry on a conversation with them and like Christ will become fully one with the Father!  Yes Christians believe in the resurrection of the body. The Resurrection of the body in our creed means The belief that after death one’s departed soul will be restored, or resurrected, to a bodily life in heaven. The Gospels tell us Jesus performed miracles of raising the dead to life as symbols Yes in death, there is a separation of the soul from the body, the human body decays and the soul goes to meet God, while awaiting its reunion with its glorified body.

Note however it is not the same body – it has somehow been purified and made one with God. Yes after death we are One with our spouse and God and yes like Christ our loved one has gone to prepare  place for us in Heaven. And we are still united as One. Yes after death God transforms the body from an earthly state into conformity with the body of His glory. The Christian confession is not “I believe in going to heaven when I die,” but “I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” “For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” (2 Cor. 5:4;).

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Death is no more there is only Love!

You have found your “One” when in your heart of heart you feel you have found she who you have desired all your life; yes the One you have desired all your life. At your first meeting there was a faint and uncertain inkling of something you were born desiring beneath the flux of all other desires and in all the momentary silences between louder passions – what you had been looking for and watching for. listening for all your life. Suddenly and purely by chance here is the One you are made for – the secret of your soul. the ‘while we are this is’ that had been missing, lost and now is found. Here is true love, quiet love. If we are so much One with our spouse before death, how much more should we be so after death? Death, is not the end of life, it is merely the end of school; we go home to God! Death is the beginning of our really knowing and being fully One with each other and God forever. God and us! God is LOVE! If we are One before death ; how much more so must we be after death. She, like Christ, has gone to prepare a place for us after our death! Love is full grown only when it is remembered. Remembering is part of the love. We remember all our days but best when we lie down to die. Rejoining our spouse in heaven as One, that is real love because God is Love! In Heaven our individuality is no longer a mystery to each other. We are saved as One blessed and fortunate creature! At Death the term is over and the summer of your life together has begun, the beginning of the real story; life in the World to come. Blessed and fortunate , your eyes shall see and behold God and each other as One. “See the home of God is among mortals’ He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more; for the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4.

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The Bible is a Library!

The Bible is not one book nor is it history in the modern sense. The Bible contains works of poetry, myth, religious-themed narratives, philosophical musings such as The Book of Ecclesiastes, letters, and the apocalyptic masterpiece known as The Book of Revelation. The common thread in all these collected works is the existence of an all-powerful deity who is the creator of the universe and has an interest in the personal lives and final fate of human beings. The bible contains both myth and history. Myth is a narrative of origins, taking place in a primordial time, a time other than that of everyday reality. Mythology is based on superstitions and legends; history is a narrative of actual events, of everyday reality [in the Bible generally writen by the Jews who lived it.]

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