This weekend offers us time to grieve and remember those whom we’ve lost in the world. It’s also a time to recognize who we are and how, as Kenneth Cohen wrote, “every tear we shed is a midwife which helps bring us into a new world.”
On Saturday, we will celebrate the long life of a beloved member of this church, our dear Ward Montgomery. On Sunday, we will hear from Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile whose life was cut short in a police shooting. We we will learn how the foundation formed in his name now “endeavors to help bridge the gap for families who have been impacted by the untimely death of a loved one.”
Our lives are inextricably touched by and bound up with those around us—friends and strangers. Through these connections, we know each other’s joy and pain, we discover our vulnerabilities and our strengths, we offer comfort and are comforted.
We cannot escape loss. We can work fiercely to prevent deaths like Philando’s and to end gun violence. We can embrace our own mortality that is with us from the moment of birth. We can notice how grief moves through us and how we are changed.
So let us “joyfully participate in the sorrows of life,” as it has been said in Buddhist teachings. Let us discover the truths and possibilities of all that we face throughout our days.