What happens after you die? That seems to be a question that most of humanity is curious about. Jon, Evangeline and I attended Tucson’s All Souls Procession last night and the streets were packed with Tucsonans dressed like the dead. Many were dressed to make some sort of statement on different issues like gay marriage, border deaths, animal rights, universal health care and even Christian martyrs. Many more were dressed to honor and remember someone they loved that has passed away, whether it was their child, parent, grandparent or even their beloved pet.
As we were approaching 4th Avenue, where the procession would begin, Jon asked me whose death I would choose to represent and seeing that it was November 8th, the due date from our second pregnancy, there was no doubt in my heart or in my mind that I would be carrying with me the death of our tiny babies.
In that moment I was overcome with a burden for all the unborn. Those precious babies that my friends and family have carried that never made it in this world. I carried them with me in my heart as we walked up and down the street.
My heart is heavy again tonight as we have once again learned of some good friends who have lost their unborn child.
There is such sorrow in this kind of death.
There is such sorrow in this life.
Henry Nouwen writes
“When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become. The sorrow overwhelms us, makes us throw ourselves on the ground, face down, and sweat drops of blood. Then we need to be reminded that our cup of sorrow is also our cup of joy and that one day we will be able to taste the joy as fully as we taste the sorrow now”
I am able to “taste the joy” now and I pray that my friends who are currently grieving will be able to again soon, too.
Of all of the confusion and questions and pondering and sorrow and pain that our human race has in death, and in life, I rest in the knowledge that one day Jesus “will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” – Revelation 21:4.