“Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But How shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”
— From “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran
It was a shock Wednesday morning when we heard about Min. Bobbie Jean Baker dying in a hit and run after Watch Night service, and that Bobby Wiseman was in the hospital. I think, even a few days on, there’s still some shock left over, as if it’s not quite real. Most of Wednesday I spent at my spinning wheel just to try and make sense of it all.
But I don’t know if death can really be made sense of. We won’t know exactly what death is until we’re on the other side. We can get glimpses of that realm from time to time, but it’s all seen in the lens of our own existence. We have to process it through life in order to give it meaning.
As in the quote from The Prophet above, we look at death from life. It’s all we have to go on, really. We have our memories that are real and as alive as if the person with us is still there.
So, it is our memories that keep those who have passed alive for us. I know that my memories of Bobbie Jean will keep her spirit and her work alive in me. Her ministry will live on in all of us, especially when we are working to celebrate and empower transgendered people. I know that I really am committed to making sure my ministry will live up to that promise.
It is something I can do in a situation where all I can do is pray and give comfort.
I’m not sure how much of this will make sense, or if it’s just me trying to make sense of it in my own mind. I just keep reminding myself: “What is remembered lives.”
That’s all I’m really sure of.