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I decided to write down thoughts drifting through my mind as I contemplate the passing of another friend. Last week I said goodbye to my last living spiritual father, and this week, a spiritual brother.

These recent passings caused me to cast off from the shallows into deeper waters. As I review my life I can hardly remember the things we all work so so hard to obtain. I remember with some fondness a few, but how many cars have I owned? How many pairs of shoes? How many great meals? I frankly cannot remember, nor does it matter. These things come and go, never to return.

Then it broke through like sunbeams through the clouds: what matters most is slowly being removed from this life and sent to the next. Nothing marks life like family, friends, spiritual mentors and the people we meet. No material thing has formed my character, or held my hand in a crisis. A favorite shirt or vacation spot cannot give wise counsel or offer a listening ear. What has mattered most and has lasting impact is others. What others have done for me and what I have done for others is the only thing of eternal value of this world. So loss of things or opportunities is of little consequence, but loss of people I love is huge.

It now dawns upon me; the best part of my life is pulling away from shore, its swirl sweeping some of the sand from beneath my feet. As people I know and love slip into heaven I feel the sting of separation, but in fact, lose nothing. I understand the ebb and flow of tides; as I stand on the shores of life, what seems gone forever will again be deposited at my feet. In this very moment I realize every present withdrawal of a spiritual person I love is a future deposit beyond the veil. Soon, there will be far more treasure awaiting me there than I have ever known here.

So I must leave this contemplation now, I have some friends to go see.


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