the scalding of grief

I watched Senator McCain's funeral today: eloquent words about a man who's feet were firmly on the ground. Megan McCain's reflection moved me deeply; and as I pondered her words and delivery, I became aware of how grief scalds the spirit. Grief merges across all loss experience within the person herself or himself. I think it might also merge in the experiences we share together so that we vicariously know grief that may not be ours in its origin.

In a number of the life memorials in which I have participated, I have heard words of praise, of honesty, of horrible loss. I have spoken those words in the loss of my brother. In all of these, I am aware of how scalding loss is...there is the burning, the destruction of what has been, and the raw experience of life exposed.

While there is healing over time, there is the "foreverness" of the loss. In Senator's McCain's funeral, prayers and memory also focused on the promise of life extending beyond this one. There is balm whether it come in the form of a Divine touch, the love of friends and family, the meaning of work, the ascent of faith imbued with hope. Even with balm and time, the wound, I think, remains, and the remaining has the potential to open us continually to care, compassion, and the choice of action to extend the meaning of the life mourned. I pray we are so moved by this life we mourned today.