Saturday was a good day. The community at Love Wins celebrated a baby that will very soon be here. We talked and laughed. We ate cake. We decorated with flowers, with balloons and with all kinds of festive items transforming the main room at 707 W. Jones St. for several hours.
It was not lost on me that we were silently and deliberately decorating around the prominently posted signs for a memorial service honoring Cowboy to be held the following afternoon. The stark contrast between the rubber ducky theme decorations and these fliers was as clear an illustration as any I have seen about what life in community is about.
Saturday we drew near in anticipation to welcome someone with open arms.
The very next day we drew near to one another with arms once again open wide, so as to receive one another as we said our last goodbyes.
I was able to say the closing prayer at the memorial service. The prayer I found has been helpful to me as I mourn this loss. In the hopes that it may prove similarly helpful to another hurting reader I offer it in its entirety here:
When sorrow comes, let us accept it simply, as a part of life. Let the heart be open to pain; let it be stretched by it. All the evidence we have says that this is the better way. An open heart never grows bitter. Or if it does, it cannot remain so. In the desolate hour, there is an outcry; a clenching of the hands upon emptiness, a burning pain of bereavement; a weary ache of loss. But anguish, like ecstacy, is not forever. There comes a gentleness, a returning quietness, a restoring stillness. This, too, is a door to life. Here, also, is a deepening of meaning — and it can lead to dedication; a going forward of the triumph of the soul, the conquering of the wilderness. And in the process will come a deepening inward knowledge that in the final reckoning, all is well.
-A. Powell Davies