Keeping Them Alive

We should all pause and smile when someone mentions a loved one that’s passed away.

In that moment, that loved one is alive again, as if they’ve stepped into the room with their signature style and voice, that smirk they always have, the particular cadence of their words that we’ve memorized. They are alive. Alive forever.

Just ask the person who uttered their name.

Inez, Elizabeth, Bill, Flamer, Louella, Vic, Jack, Stan, Cynthia, Mark, Patrick, Chris, Cle, Loretta, Bob, Mr. & Mrs. ________, Tony, Pie, Mr. _________

(I’m smiling ear to ear right now.)

It’s a comforting thought to know that these wonderful people can be summoned and cherished at any time and that this power is ours and ours alone.

We can do this for each other. With nothing more than silence and the grace of a smile, we can welcome the person fully into the room.

Our Angels.

Instead of hovering in the background peering over shoulders (like they always do), they can come sit down and be part of the conversation — a quiet, respectful observer full of wisdom and boundless love.

Their presence becomes more than imagination. With invisible strings and wires, they pull people closer together, they slay our dragons.

As we get older and are forced to confront the hardest of things, to close our eyes and listen for footsteps, we know deep in our hearts that we are not alone. And can never be alone.

It is not wishful thinking. It is undeniable.

For we are surrounded.