Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Can Our Loved Ones See From Beyond the Veil?

The entire family at Mary's graduation dinner.
At this graduation dinner, a recent post, I wrote of how special it is for a mother when all the children are together, when the family is complete, all in one location. Is part of the appeal of the physical presence of everyone tied to the reality of our bodily existence—our soul/body connectedness? Somehow love feels more complete, more fully expressed, when each loved one is physically present. These thoughts led me to another question: Why at this dinner did the presence of material objects that belonged to my father and mother touch my heartstrings so?

Perhaps for the same reason,….or perhaps because I am hopelessly sentimental. But the reality of our persons as both soul and body suggests a significance to the physical world that we may be able to sense without the ability to explain.

My daughter was wearing a blouse that had belonged to my mother, a blouse that I vividly remember my mom wearing. Never mind that Liz also strikingly resembles my mother. And John was wearing my father’s University of Michigan class ring. Could it be 70 years old? John himself is an alumni of Michigan, but it was not his ring that he wore, but my father’s.   As a devoted Michigan fan, my father hoped to one day see a grandchild follow the Michigan tradition. Now there have been two.

Liz, in her grandmother's blouse.

Liz with my grandson Blaise
Liz and John showing Joey his great-grandfather's Michigan class ring.
So there they sat, Liz in her grandmother’s blouse and and John with his grandfather’s ring. These are relics of my parents, not as articles of reverence necessarily, although I do hope and pray they are in heaven, but remnants of who they were, items of significance. Adorning two of my beloved children, they suggested the fullness of the circle of life, our connectedness with those who have gone before.

Jim, John, and Liz
 I confess that I looked around the room and thought: Are they here, just beyond the veil? Are my parents watching and smiling? If such a thing is possible, somehow I think they were, together with their relics worn by grandchildren seated in adjacent chairs. Was it a coincidence Liz and John were seated next to each other?

Someday we will know more about the communion of saints and how it all works. In the meantime, we pray for everyone who has gone before us, hoping they have made it home, and even, on rare occasions, feeling a strong sense of some element of their presence among us.

No comments: