A friend passed away earlier this week from a heart attack and while everyone shares in the sympathy for the family, a friend emailed me at work asking if I could describe who he is since she couldn't place his name with his face. After I provided her with more insight to him, her response: “I knew I knew who he was”. This got me thinking. Why do we say I knew him/her?
The soul of each person doesn't die, just the physical self. The physical self then goes to Heaven and the soul remains forever in everything we do and everywhere anything lives and breathes. I know for a fact that this gentleman will watch over his wife, children, grandchildren, other family and his friends from here to eternity. How do I know? You can call it religion, spirits, or something else, but I know my late husband watches over me as I deal with hardships and succeed in accomplishments. I also know he laughs when I make a goof-up and smiles when do something silly. Even though it’s been 4 years, I still find pennies in interesting places and I didn't put them there. I know him when the bunnies hop in the yard watching me get home safely.
When around family and friends, you share memories in sometimes the “I remember” format, but you don’t hear anyone say, “I knew him when”. Then again you might depending on the context such as “I've known him since he joined the parish”. You still and will always know the person whose body has left this earth. So let’s think of this friends memory as…I know him when there’s a Mustang car show, because his presence draws close. I know him every time I sit on my couch and use the built-in massager because of how he referred to it (think as a reference to family planning; this will always make me blush & giggle). I know him as a voice in the church choir and the gentle hugger while being supportive and just because.
May the grace of God watch over you. May you feel peace as you’re lifted on eagle’s wings and are held in the palm of God’s hands. May you feel the love we all share of your presence. May we find joy and laughter in the memories. May the tears that fall express all that is.