Pathways through Lent

In Memory of a Loss

Psalm 22 Isaiah 52:13–53:12 Hebrews 10:16–25 or Hebrews 4:14–16, 5:7–9 John 18:1–19:42

Upon entering the temple we see him

Lying prominently in the immense sanctuary

Engulfed by multitudes of mourners

Who have come to grieve a tragic loss.

What appears as death is but an illusion.

Though draped by a symbolic cloth His presence in death as in life Is penetratingly stark And not difficult to perceive.

All is transition, merely a change of form.

Family and friends extol his noble qualities

And innumerable achievements

That we all aspire towards but he, poignantly, embodied.

. . . The body is a garment which he wears a season.

Later, we somberly gather at the grave site

As the coffin is lowered to its designated resting place.

And each takes our turn to bid a final farewell by casting soil onto it:

Thus, sending him to his eternal abode while we remain behind.

To begin life in other spheres.

Earlier, the rabbi noted that we are all like flowers on this earth

Meant to bloom into our potential like the deceased did.

He bloomed magnificently and we were fortunate

To have his exemplary presence among us!

Nothing dies; it simply changes form.*

–Janet Helgert

Italicized quotes from Henrietta Posner’s poem There Is No Death, 1955



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