I spent the day helping a friend go through the belongings of a dear loved one who has passed. It’s tough going. One might think it’s the expensive toys, gadgets, and gizmos which you’d want to hold on to but instead, it’s the little things; sheets of paper, old license plates, CDs, notepads. Items which wouldn’t sell at a yard sale or purchased at Goodwill are of immense value, a treasure to the ones who remain.
Death is often an open wound. Scabs may form, some healing might occur, but grasping at past memories and experiences, strains and pulls apart the wound and the pain, heartbreak of loss returns. Its hard letting go. It’s difficult to say; “goodbye.” but death demands we do it again and again in many ways, on many occasions and you wonder if it will ever be the last time.
Moving on requires that one live open-handed, no clinging to earthly, temporal things, allowing the shared life of the one who is gone to be enough.
This morning, on my way to the office, I spied a small car whose trunk seemed to be unlatched. At first I thought maybe it was tied off because it was carrying something larger than its capacity but I watched as it slowly opened up and the driver seemed unaware. At the next stop light I jumped out of the truck and noticed the driver of the unfastened trunk saw me in her driver’s mirror. She rolled down her window and I asked; “do you know your trunk is open?” “No, she said, ‘I just came from the store and must’ve forgotten to shut it.'” “Well I’m going to close it for you OK?” I replied as I made sure it was secure, hopped back into the Frontier as the light turned green and then we both went our way.
I reflected on the lady and the open trunk, thankful for eyes to see, hands to help and a willing heart to assist someone in need. The truth is that we need each other to make sure we don’t lose our way or what’s valuable as we travel the road of life.