by Rev. Mary Gear
I expected the phone to ring on Wednesday morning. I’d been to visit Celia & Gary Tobin the night before and knew that Gary was close to the end of his life. OUUC’s Music Director, Troy and his friend, Becky Owens, gave the gift of music to Gary & Ceilia, calming us all, easing Gary’s transition.
So, when Celia called Wednesday morning to say that Gary had passed, I was ready to receive this news. And then I wasn’t. Once we hung up, tears came. Tears that have been below the surface for a while, tears for Evey Greenberg, for George Lanning, for Gary, for the state of the world. It’s a lot right now.
In the moments when I mourned Gary and all the losses, I let the tears wash over me, through me, and I wept. The sorrow didn’t last forever, or even for very long. I appreciated the release that comes from tears. I remembered that we mourn because we love.
Don’t worry that I cry. It makes me human, and when I stop being human, I lose the connection to my call as minister. I am grateful for that connection, especially at times like these.
And don’t worry that you may cry or do whatever you do to notice and express your feelings. There’s a lot in the world right now, in the public sphere and in our private lives. Suffering is a universal experience. Facing it all is what makes us human in our wholeness.
This week I invite you to be with whatever is arising for you. If you’d like some support for whatever is arising for you, please feel free to reach out to the Pastoral Care Team through the Warm Line at 360-634-2005 x 109. I hope you can find moments of joy and beauty amidst the sorrow.
Last Sunday, the service was on suffering…and joy and beauty. You can access the service here.
In the service, Troy offered music from John Denver that captures all of this in a few words:
All this joy, all this sorrow
All this promise, all this pain
Such is life, such is being
Such is spirit, such is love
Enjoy the song here.
May your week be filled with blessings of life in all its fullness.