One of my favorite theologians is Henri Nouwen. His writing is simplistic, but powerful. He brings you into his life and allows you to walk with him in his life through every possible emotion. You learn, cry, laugh, feel compassion, and grow with him in his and your own journey. The last few years have been hard for me and for my family. I have had to say good bye to over thirty friends, acquaintances and loved ones.
There are days I have wondered if I would ever stop grieving. I still wake up some mornings wishing my parents who transitioned in 2001 and 2005, my first two funerals, were still here. Sometimes I just want to pick up the phone and call them. There is not a day that I look at our prayer and meditation garden and do not think of my friend Laura who committed suicide about 18 months ago. She helped us move so much dirt into that garden and planted a butterfly bush, which stayed green in the snow when she passed over. Losing so many people the last few years has reminded me of my own mortality. Read More
One of my homework questions was how did you feel when you heard don Miguel Ruiz say, “You are born alone, you grow up alone and you will die alone”? I am not sure how to describe what I was feeling. There is a part of me that was like ok, am I supposed to feel surprised, upset, or scared. The part of that sentence that scared me the most was that I might die alone. Then I was like ok, so what. I am never alone. The Infinite is always with me, so even when there is not another human being with me, I am never alone. I am always with me, so I am never alone. Read More
I am sitting here this morning trying to take in the news that you are no longer with us. It is not as if you were sick, you weren’t. Your not being with us in this realm anymore reminds me of how precious life is. How many times have I really thought about how blessed I am to wake up? I am grateful, however, somehow hearing the news that you have transitioned to the next realm of being, was a wake up call for me. This morning, I truly am grateful for another day to be of service to the world.
After I got through the initial shock of it all, I could hear a few voices floating through my head. One was my Bubby asking me, “So Sara Bella what are you grateful for?” that is so easy. I am grateful I had the chance to meet you and get to know you. It brings me back in time to when I was pastoring at TPUFC and you would bring groups of students up to our church. I remember all the conversations we had about life, spirituality, social psychology, women and gender studies, and vegetarianism. I remember the opportunity we had to catch up in Los Angeles when you moved to UCSC Read More
If this were the last day of my death, and I knew it, I think I would make a point of being with those people who are nearest and dearest to me and sharing stories of love and gifts that I would want them to have. I would want the opportunity to say goodbye to them in my own way and on my own terms. I would not want it to be somber, but a time of celebration. I would eat and drink whatever I wanted and throw all caution to the wind. I am reminded of this scene from the movie Chocolat and how the old woman celebrated her last birthday. That is what I would do if it were my last day. the practical side of me would make sure I sent an email and an excel file to my department chair so she knew how students were doing, I would let Zoe know what I wanted for my homegoing, and I would write a final reflection for Inspiritual telling everyone thank you for being part of my ride. And of course, I would leave Zoe a things to do list, which she will definitely procrastinate in doing Read More