On Grief

Unitarian Universalists don’t have a uniform view of what happens to us after we die.  But they can’t help wanting to know, anyway.

So a congregant, who had just lost a beloved partner to HIV, couldn’t resist asking his clergy, “Where is Stephen now?”

She sighed, and then slowly replied, “May I ask you a question?”

“Yes, surely.”

“Where was Stephen yesterday?”

“Why, at the hospital, of course.”

“What did you do with him there?”

“I held his hand and told him that I loved him.”

“Beautiful!  Did you stay with him all last night?”

“No, I went home to sleep for a while.”

“Did you love Stephen any less because you were miles apart?”

“Oh no, if anything, I felt it more strongly.”

“When you were with Stephen over the years, did you ever leave your own body, cross the room, and enter Stephen’s body and soul to experience what it was like to be him from the inside?”

“No, of course not.  That’s impossible.”

“Yes, so all the time you were together, you knew him, and felt him, and loved him from within your own skin, and within your own heart?”

“I did, very much.”

“To me, that answers your question. That’s where Stephen still is, right now, and will always be.”  She placed her hand over her own heart for emphasis.

[published Apr 14, 2023]