As many of you know, my sister Mary Ann passed away in early December. She was my only sister and my best friend. She was diagnosed with cancer the day before Thanksgiving and she died ten days later. Her death was a shock for all of us who loved her. (I wrote about her death on my post for January 9, 2017).
About two weeks after her funeral, my nephew’s wife wanted to verify my address. So she googled it and up came the street map with my house clearly marked. But on the left there was a small oval marked “street view.” She clicked on that, and to her great surprise, this picture appeared.
It is a picture of my sister and me walking on my street. According to the caption, the picture was taken in September 2013, but it wasn’t posted until 2016. I remember clearly the day it was taken. As Mary Ann and I were walking in the neighborhood, we saw the Google car with the 360 degree camera on top coming towards us. I said to her, “There’s the Google camera, Mary Ann. It’s taking our picture. Someday we’ll be famous!” Then I forgot all about the incident. Three years later, the picture appears on Google right after my sister dies.
As soon as I saw the photo, I started to cry softly. But my tears were coupled with joy, for the picture brought me immense consolation. I felt as if my sister was saying to me, and to all of us who loved her, “I am walking with you still.”
I made a copy of the picture, framed it, and set it on my desk where I can look at it often. The picture recalls the many times Mary Ann and I walked together—in my neighborhood, in her neighborhood, or in a park. But more than that, the picture reminds me that she walks beside me even now.
Here is a little prayer I wrote based on this picture. Perhaps you might be able to say it to a loved one of yours:
My beloved one, you have preceded me in death. While you were being born into eternal life, I could only watch helplessly and tearfully. Your leaving left a hole in my heart that no one else can fill. Your leaving left me to walk the rest of my earthy life without you.
But I know you haven’t left me. Not really. At times I sense you are walking beside me, bestowing comfort and encouragement. Even the pain of my grief is a gift from you, for it reminds me of the strength and depth of our love that nothing—not even death—can destroy. Beloved one, please continue to guide my steps here on earth until we walk together again in eternity. Amen.
The song for today is called “I’ll See You Again” by Westlife. Perhaps you can pray the words of this song to someone you’re missing…
What do you think… about this reflection… this song… Do you ever sense a deceased loved one is near you? I invite you to respond below.