In Memoriam

A friend of mine passed away this weekend due to a hiking accident. I cannot give meaningful language to the thoughts in my mind about the quality of person she was. This was my attempt: Your kindness, unconditional positive regard for everyone you met, your open heart, your earnest desire to serve God and others, your embodiment of God’s grace, your compassion – I have not known many as truly worthy of admiration and emulation as you. It was an honor to learn with you and to be your friend. Thank you for loving us so well.

Her death is wrapped up with other difficult thoughts about mortality and about my love of nature – a love we shared. I wonder if others who share that love have felt this way:

I underestimate your power.
A great and terrible beauty
Hides the shadow side
Where cold paths and sharp cliffs
House anguish.
I can love you still.
But now your often icy fingers
Grip tight my ribs.
Your majesty
Tensely sits with sadness in my soul.
Each happy step followed
By one darkened with despair.
“Going to the mountain is going home,”
Now a home with empty rooms
Alongside ones full of
Wonder.
A home changed upon returning
By pain and loss
But comforting
Nonetheless.

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