In grade school, at the beginning of each day, our teacher would take attendance. After we took our seats, she would open her attendance book and call out each student’s name in alphabetical order. When we heard our name, we answered, “Here!”
Since that time, I’ve discovered that loved ones don’t have to be “Here” to be present.
I once read some indigenous N. American cultures believe a person’s spirit does not pass into the next world as long as anyone who actually knew them is still alive. They believe everyone becomes a part of anyone they touch, and as such, their spirit remains with them for the rest of their life.
It’s a beautiful sentiment, and for all I can tell, it is true.
This year we lost our good friend Doug, a person of great spirit.
It’s common when someone passes away to hear people say they simply can’t believe they are gone. Doug’s case was entirely different.
What I feel, along with many others, is that he is still here.
When preparing dinner, I expect Doug to walk in the door with a tasty dessert and a couple bottles of red wine.
Doug was a great musician; two CD’s of his original songs were professionally recorded. One of his songs came up on my Spotify playlist the other day, and I almost offered to refresh his glass, thinking he was playing his guitar in the next room.
Doug was a natural entertainer. He never showed up to a party without his guitar. Doug didn’t so much play songs as engage everyone in song, often stopping at a chorus so others could join in. If they didn’t, he would say “common” in a high Scottish lilt with a twinkling eye. No one could resist.
Every morning I read Fr. Richard Rohr’s blog. Recently he wrote:
“We respond to one another’s energy more than to people’s exact words or actions. In any situation, the taking or giving of energy is what we are actually doing.”
What a gift it is to know someone who builds rather than saps our energy. Doug gave his energy to everyone he met; our lives were enriched as a result.
Shortly after his passing, I told our friend Mary about the uncanny feeling I had of Doug still being here. Mary is a wise soul, and her reply clarified things for me.
She said, “Doug’s spirit is huge. It used to be trapped in his body, but now it is running wild!”
Spirit running wild!
I love that!
We are more than molecules. Life is more than physical form. To doubt this is to not have known anyone like Doug.
Fundamental Principle: Bringing mind, body, and spirit into balance.
A Question To Consider: How can you set your spirit free?
More information including background principles, suggested reading, and a library of previous posts can be found at http://tim-coats.com