What did Patricia mean by “my beloved Eric joins me”? Well, I must begin with what Pat and I mean by marriage. We believe in the sacrament of marriage making us one entity, a trinity, three persons one entity. Husband, wife and the life-giving spirit of the marriage, are not only enveloped in a dynamic, reciprocal life of self-giving love, but they interpenetrate each other in a totally unique way without losing their distinctiveness as persons. In marriage two human beings have the ability to indwell through the soul’s connection with Christ who is LOVE.
Marriage is about such concepts as diversity, difference and mutuality, rather than with such concept as oneness as a source of power. Despite Paul’s teaching in Eph. 5:28, there is no subordination of the persons – they are equal and Husband and wife each remain distinct individuals. Paul says that husbands should love their wives “as their own bodies” (that is, in the same way as they love their own bodies – Eph. 5:28) not because a husband’s wife is identical with his own physical body. Which would be nonsense. If in submitting to her husband a wife is really just submitting to herself and not to a different person, then her husband has no distinct existence as a person.
Patricia and I were lucky enough to discover that quiet, intense love that is basic to life itself; it is seldom found in real life. We had the eyes to see and the words to tell the truths that are most real to each other. Pat got it right from the beginning. She was a very deep thinker and wouldn’t commit to love until she had thought it through. Pat and I were soulmates. Soulmate relationships are far and few but when they do occur, they are for eternity. This kind of relationship is marked by an intense connection between two people, two souls, one that may even be difficult to convey in words. Two people just “get each other” — they finish each other’s sentences, are best friends, and have adopted the us against the world mentality, and a us and God outlook. It feels like we are two pieces of a puzzle fitting perfectly together. In the six months from our first date to our marriage we found each other’s souls and bonded. The sacrament of marriage bound our two souls into a Trinity – one entity, three persons. I still feel that haunting familiarity – our two souls remain bonded even after her death.
Her death has, however created an imbalance in our marriage trinity. Pat has moved into the spiritual plane with God in our marriage. I alone remain in the earthly plan though both Pat and Christ dwell in me. God is Love and Love is stronger than Death.
With Pat’s death and her very real appearances to me it becomes clear that our journey together continues. Our marriage and love is getting better and better. Our individuality is part of one whole as the symbol above shows. GOD is LOVE. The problem is I, still in the physical world, can not yet feel the whole as me – my ego keeps getting in the way. The only self I am conscious of is my own physical self. I don’t know how to shift my ego to the central “Us” in the diagram of our marriage trinity. I need God if I am to become one real being with Pat and our love – I need to become truly us. I have to open my self to both Patricia and God. Pat needs to help me as she is complete, reborn of the spirit, and I am not yet complete. She is helping by meeting me half way and I think that is what she means by my joining her. I am still becoming. I am still reaching for the ends of being and learning to touch her and God through meditation and centering prayer. That is how I will join her while still alive.