Memorial Epilog: The Wind in the Trees
By Eric Armstrong on Aug 17, 2007
Continued from Memorial Service for a Friend
I was hurting more than I knew.
I'm not sure what I was looking for at the memorial service, but whatever it was, I didn't find it.
I've been to a Unitarian service that was quite uplifting. It dealt with what people are feeling and helped folks to come to grips with those feelings. It was also open in a way that allowed anyone of any faith or form of belief to listen and take the words to heart.
But this was a Methodist service. It was about as comforting as a slab of granite. It was all about "Jesus is the only true lord and savior". I could live with "our savior". If they believe it, fine. But the only one? Pretty much a slap in the face to all the good Taoists, Buddhists, and Hindus that have peopled the earth. I grew up in that tradition, but it's a combination of ignorance and arrogance that is only matched by doctors.
Then there was the bit about her being baptized. So according to them, she was fine. But the underlying message was that anyone who hasn't been baptized is doomed. There was a bunch of other nonsense, but that was the gist of it. The whole thing was an orchestrated bit of fear-mongering calculated to make people join the club. Not one word of comfort in anything I heard. I took as much of it as I could stand. Then I left.
On the way back, I noticed that the breeze in the trees were speaking to me with a much louder voice, and they eased my heart. So went out to talk to them for a while.
I spent the next 5 hours hiking through the woods. Every time the wind rustled through the leaves, I stopped to listen. I thought I was going out to "talk" to the wind in the trees. But it wasn't about talking. It was about
The rustling of the leaves spoke in a language without words. There was nothing for my head to grasp. Instead, it spoke straight to my heart. High on a hilltop, with the wind rustling the grasses, I felt Vikki's presence, accompanied by a powerful healing force. It eased the pain, and made acceptance possible.
The next morning, I awoke with thoughts of the time we shared. I found myself focusing on her life, rather than being consumed by her death. Her last months were filled with hope, joy--and lots of ice cream. She had no regrets. She said that knowing she only had a few months to live gave her a whole new perspective on life, and she focused on what was important.
She taught me a lot about how to live. The wind in the trees made it possible for me to hear the lessons.