Suarez-Orendain: Not today

Leticia Suarez-Orendain
·2 min read

EVERY day we are engaged in a battle. From the rising of the sun, to the going down of old Sol, we have skirmishes with pests, bills, noise, heartache, sickness, worries about our low income, loneliness and sadness over a death in our family.

There are days we are convinced ours is a losing battle. But like the proverbial rainbow after the rain, we have hope. Hope that some, if not all, our pains and sorrows will end.

They do end. We do have good, sunny days that prove St. Therese’s meditation: Nada te turbe... Todo se pasa (lit. let nothing disturb you...everything ends).

This being November, we do a lot of remembering departed loved ones. It’s very difficult for the heart to write about a newly departed loved one. Where do we begin and how do we end?

Here we sit attempting a draft on a rainy day, an apt response from the sky to a painful task of picturing a family member special to us but gone forever.

It can’t be done today. Perhaps a more talented family member can do it.

Let’s just say, as we grieve and long to chat with that person one more time, that we can’t encapsulate the wholeness of that being so neatly. It’s like limiting the person to skin and bones, and neglecting the in-betweener quirks and twangs. This gives you an idea just how valuable the loved one was.

We can’t do it. Not now. We love in part and don’t give in part. We don’t care in half and go on in life in half. We accept the whole person and love that presence with our whole part. So to visit our departed today, we enter the garden of our memory where no wall restrains them. Far better to visit how they loved and lived.

We can no longer love our departed as we did. We do so only “in the memory of...” Their souls no longer know the sweetness of roses.

Maybe we honor our departed much deeper if we love the “undeparted” with the sweetness of roses in our daily life and making the living feel the loving.

Let us then remember the good of those who have gone Home ahead of us and honor them with the good we can be because of how the departed influenced us. As my aunt Isabel U. Torre often said, “Love, forgive, fear God.” She also often quoted St. Therese: “Quien a Dios tiene...solo Dios basta (lit. one who has God... God alone suffices).”

I end abruptly. Life often ends that way, taking with it memories we keep in our hearts.