Each year, on this day, I want my soul friends. I want to be in their house, as in days past, munching on something Drason has cooked up, sharing a couch cushion with Sonya, watching old movies or laughing as our kids bang on tambourines and choreograph others sorts of mayhem.
When we grieve, proximity feels important. I can remember, after we lost Bane, how much I desperately needed to stay close to those who had loved him as I had. How just the presence of those who had also bounced him on their hips, who had also played at his peek-a-boo smiles, was a great comfort – even if words weren’t exchanged.
And so each year, on this day, I crave intimacy with my dear friends, and this is right and good. But I also remind myself that intimacy with me – however good the food and conversation – wouldn’t “do the trick” for comforting my friends today.
So, from afar, today I beg my Jesus to be close to them. I beg His Spirit to pump healing, cleansing grief through their hearts. And I thank God that he spells it out for us – bold words in print, that we can read even as our eyes brim in painful tears – that he is ever-present in our times of trouble.
Each year, on this day, we celebrate a life well-lived. And we thank God that even when this day fades on the calendar of memory, his true word will not fail us.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”