I heard someone say that when one of us passes….when one of us isn’t physically here on Earth anymore….that we “lose a library”.
I guess that what they mean is that all the knowledge goes away.
I don’t know about that, really.
Maybe it’s true….but in a lot of ways, I kind of doubt it.
The doors may be closed….but the knowledge sticks around….at least a little.
My friend’s father passed away over the weekend after a pretty long illness.
That’s a hard thing to lose a parent.
I don’t think there’s much that’s harder.
It’s hard to watch a parent experience pain or discomfort…..but the relief of the end to the discomfort never covers the sadness at the loss.
I guess that I can only speak for myself….but I can’t think of anything harder that I’ve been through than losing my own parents.
This man who “went away” over the weekend…..he was a main branch.
He was a main branch of the libraries.
When I talk to his son, I realize that the “library” isn’t gone, though….just like the “library” that was my own father isn’t really gone, either.
They live through us, I guess.
This man who isn’t physically here with us anymore….he was a smart man.
He was a smart man….and kind of a smarty pants, too.
My wife said, yesterday on the way home from Greenville, when we couldn’t figure out how to return Joel’s voicemail on her cell phone, that (talking about a nice visit we had with my friend’s parents when they stopped by our little house on one of their trips) she was really glad they stopped by…
It meant a lot to us that my friend’s parents came to see us.
“That was so nice of them to stop. I could see where Joel came from talking to his Dad….” she said.
Joel is a smarty pants, too.
That’s the beauty and strength of our long friendship….it’s a yin yang kind of relationship….Joel’s smarty-pantsedness and my steadfast clarity….my rootedness….
(Who am I kidding? We’re both smartypants…)
Losing my parents tore something inside of me.
I guess that’s what love does, maybe.
But loving them made everything that’s good inside of me, too.
No one is really ever gone.
We carry them.
I don’t know what to say to someone who’s lost a parent.
What do you say?
I don’t know.
Maybe just that you love them….and are thinking of them.
Maybe that’s all….and enough.