Recently I lost my dear sister, who was also my best friend. We had shared a very precious relationship and companionship. Naturally, this was a big adjustment in my life.
But I have found much comfort and guidance in these words by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science: “When the light of one friendship after another passes from earth to heaven, we kindle in place thereof the glow of some deathless reality” (“Pulpit and Press,” p. 5).
Through study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings, I have learned that the light that loved ones bring into our life, illumining it with blessings and much joy, can never really be lost. It continues to shine because the light of good, which comes from God, is everlasting.
Yes, those we love may no longer be personally present with us, but we can cherish the grateful memory of all the good they expressed – goodness that has its source in God and is therefore eternal, not confined to a human personality. Goodness can never be lost because it is a spiritual attribute of God and is forever reflected by each one of us as God’s spiritual ideas, or children.
If a dear friend or relative moves to a new neighborhood, city, or country, often that individual remains as close in our thoughts as when he or she lived nearby. The glow of this one’s individual identity is not dimmed by a change of physical location. Similarly, when an individual has passed on, this one too can remain as “close” as ever in our thoughts, because his or her individuality is spiritual and immortal and lives on. It can never be destroyed. Our true essence, or identity, is not material, but reflects eternally the Life that is Spirit, God.
Christ Jesus declared, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). These ideas have indeed comforted me, bringing the healing of grief over my sister’s passing.
Grief does not have to overwhelm us when loved ones pass from our view; we can instead maintain a heartfelt gratitude for all the good they shared with us, knowing that they are continuing to experience that good. We can be confident that everlasting Love is with them still, even as that divine Love, God, is with us. We can “kindle … the glow of some deathless reality” in our thoughts of them.
As we grow spiritually in this understanding, we will no longer mourn but be truly comforted in every remembrance of them.
Adapted from an article published in the Aug. 12, 2019, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.