Yesterday Kay Stewart shared this at the cemetery as we laid to rest the ashes of her first-born daughter Katherine (“Katie”).
For Christ to have gone before us,
To have kept us from ultimate sadness,
To be our brother, our advocate,
The One who ushers in the Kingdom,
And the One to come,
Does not keep us from our digging today.
We still gather here and throw the dirt on our sacred dust,
We take the shovel like all those gone before us
And surrender to the Unknowable—
The place where
Love and Beauty and Kindness grow wild.
Where sorrow has no needs,
Where there is all beginning and
I know this Love of hers lives on. I feel it.
I watch it in many streams of synchronicity,
Where my heart leaps from memory’s knowing,
Where I share a breath from her beyond.
And then I cry in secret,
Begging that she return
On my terms.
But if my begging is selfish,
The answer to it is not.
If I but knew the splendor of that Place where Love lives,
I would marvel in her good fortune
And ponder her grace inside a timeless waiting for us,
A begging for our good fortune
To come on her terms.
We live our lives in time.
She lives all time as Splendor.
We are bound between this stalemate
And the mystery that is our promise.
Until then we have no other luxury than
To shout her precious memories to the sky
In loud thanksgiving that Love herself lived with us awhile.
Then, because we live with fuller hearts
From knowing more than before our loss,
We turn our shovels over
As those with little other choice for now.
For now we dig.
And shed our tears
With greater Trust.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is
- Kay Stewart, Chaska, Minn., May 9, 2013,
the third anniversary of loss and fuller hearts.
Kay Stewart is a licensed alcohol and chemical addiction counselor with the Addiction Medicine Clinic of Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and Austin Theological Seminary (Austin, Texas), and writes for www.rawgrief.com. She lives in Chaska, Minn.